Tuesday, January 31, 2012

It's A Wonderful Life

Every year at Christmas, our family watches “It’s A Wonderful Life.” My favorite part is the end, when George Bailey stands in his living room surrounded by family and friends who have all come to help him through a difficult time. I have always wondered what it would feel like to be George Bailey. How would it feel to be able to really see how many people love and support you…to have family and friends come during a difficult time and lift and help you in a way that you could not do for yourself?

My dear friends, last night I came home and wept because I truly felt like George Bailey. Your response to our Chick-fil-A night was overwhelming! For over two hours the line was constantly out the door and the drive thru packed. It was incredible for us to be able to individually name everyone in those lines. The restaurant was so full that many families needed to take their dinner home because there were no available tables. Our family was doing our best to help with garbage, cleaning tables, refilling drinks and making ice cream cones and therefore did not get to personally thank each one of you and give you a hug. I just hope you know that you not only helped us financially, but you truly made us feel loved and supported in our efforts to bring our son home. Thank you for coming and thank you for staying through those long lines! 

Thanks to each of you, we had 143 “Bring Michael Home” vouchers turned in last night. We raised $563 from your Chick-fil-A purchases! In addition to this, $401 in donations was handed to our family throughout the night and was even left at our front door. Many people asked how they could make direct donations through our blog and $485 was given to Michael through his Reece’s Rainbow site last night and this morning.

We are grateful beyond words to you for your support and love. I just wish that our little Michael could see and feel how many people in our community love him and are sacrificing to bring him home. I truly hope that one day he will know. But as for me, when Christmas comes around again and we watch “It’s A Wonderful Life,” I will remember my own George Bailey experience in the American Fork, Chick-fil-A and I will be forever grateful for our friends who have helped to give us a really wonderful life.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Dine to Donate!!

It’s time to take a break from cooking and treat your family to a meal “out”…all while helping to bring Michael home! We have two wonderful local restaurants, Chick-fil-A and Chili’s, who have graciously offered to help us raise funds to “Bring Michael Home.”

On Monday, January 30th, from 3:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., Chick-fil-A will donate 20% of your pre-tax purchase towards Michael’s adoption. Please remember to print off the voucher, located on the right side of our blog, and bring it with you to Chick-fil-A. They MUST have the voucher in order to donate towards Michael’s fund. Our family will be there to help refill your beverages. We are excited to see you!!


Every Wednesday in February (and with Leap Year, there are FIVE Wednesdays in February this year) Chili’s will donate 15% of the revenue associated with your purchase towards bringing Michael home. Again, please remember to print the voucher for Chili’s on the right side of the blog. Chili’s can only donate to Michael if you bring the voucher with you.

We are so grateful to Chick-fil-A and Chili’s for being so willing to help us in raising the funds needed to bring Michael home to his forever family! We also would like to thank the UPS Store in Lehi for donating the vouchers that we will be placing on local neighborhood doors! These are three fantastic businesses that truly wish to better their local community.

We will see you on Monday! Come hungry!!!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

"This Isn't Hard"

This post actually has nothing to do with our adoption or even adoption in general, but I can’t stop thinking about something that happened last night and thought that I would record and share my thoughts. Last night I had the opportunity to spend a small amount of time with the residents of a local homeless shelter. Because of the cold weather, this shelter is extremely full and many of the residents are children. I learned many lessons from these wonderful people, but one encounter has taught me and given me more insights than any other.

As I was helping some residents towards the back of the shelter, a beautiful and well kept teenage girl asked me about the length of the food line. She was busy writing in a notebook and looking at a large text book. I told her that the line was still fairly long and that if she waited ten more minutes it should be shorter. I then said, “you can still keep working on what you are doing….it looks hard.” She smiled at me and then said, “oh, I’m not doing anything hard… it’s just chemistry.”

I couldn’t believe it. I first have to say that to me, chemistry is HARD! With endless help from my father, I barely made it through high school chemistry and about killed myself, and my poor father, in the process. I think that he probably still bears the mental scars of sitting at that kitchen table with me for hours at a time trying to explain how to balance chemical equations. The interesting thing is that I actually enjoyed balancing these equations…I just never did it correctly. So to me, the chemistry that this is young woman was doing is incredibly hard and I told her that. But what I couldn’t tell her was, “are you kidding me? High school is hard enough when you have a home, educated and supportive parents and family, fashionable clothing and a car! You live in a homeless shelter. Your entire life is “hard.” Yet you are going to school and taking difficult classes. You are working on your chemistry homework surrounded by 150 other people. You are polite, gracious and smiling when you are in an unbelievably difficult situation. YOU ARE DOING SOMETHING HARD!!!”

I have such an admiration for this young woman. She truly is my new hero. Her positive attitude and outlook did not allow her to shrink with her trials. In fact, she didn’t even see them as “hard” and I believe that is why she seemed happy. She taught me that we can do hard things and do so with a positive attitude. I hope that when I feel that my trials are “hard,” I will think of this beautiful young woman and I hope that I will be as strong as she is and smile and say to myself, “this isn’t hard.” My hope and prayer is that her strength will carry her not only through high school but also through college and possibly even on to be a famous chemist one day!

Monday, January 23, 2012

It's Here!

IT’S HERE! IT’S HERE! This morning we got a phone call from our adoption agency to tell us that our LOA had just arrived from China! We had been so anxious all weekend. I had emailed our agency last week to ask if they knew why our LOA was so delayed (it had taken twice as long as Jacob’s did). They told us that hopefully it was already on its way because the CCCWA offices were closing for the long Chinese New Year celebration. If it wasn’t already on its way, we wouldn’t receive it until the end of February. So I was SOOOOO excited when the phone rang this morning!

When we were finally able to get all the children home together this evening, we told them that we had gotten a phone call from the adoption agency and that we “would not be receiving the LOA tomorrow…..BECAUSE WE ALREADY RECEIVED IT TODAY!!!” There was so much screaming and even tears. I guess these brothers and sisters are anxious to get their brother home!

Now we will submit our I-800 to our government and once that approval has been cabled to the Consulate in China, we will be issued our Travel Approval. If you are following our process checklist, we just completed #13 and will have #14 completed by Thursday of this week. Thank you for all of your prayers in our behalf!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A Visit from Young Women

A couple of nights ago, our door bell rang and there on our porch stood a group of beautiful young women and their incredible leaders. In their hands were sweet handwritten letters, cookies, a framed scripture and a big pretzel jar full of change. One of the sweet leaders told me of how she was thinking of our family and Michael on Christmas Eve. She said that she wanted the young women to see that “little” things add up and that they could make a difference in the lives of those around them. She presented the idea of collecting change for our adoption to the young women and they readily agreed and have been doing so for several weeks.

The youth of this generation are incredible. They are strong, compassionate, faithful, and valiant. They serve others and truly make life better for those around them. I am so grateful for these thoughtful and generous young women. I am grateful for their leaders who give so much of their time to teach and inspire these young ladies to reach their full potential.

I hope that this group of young women understands how grateful we are for their help in bringing Michael home. They may not completely understand now, but I hope that in the future, when they become mothers for the first time, they will hold their baby and will remember that they helped another mother be able to finally hold her son. They will understand then.