Saturday, August 25, 2012

Update and New Pics

We were surprised on Tuesday when we received an update on Eli.  We received some updated measurements and development information as well as 2 pictures (yay!). 

On the home front, the boys started school this week.  Aidan is now a 4th grader (how am I old enough to have a 4th grader?!).  Keenan started 1st grade.  They both had open houses and we got to meet their teachers.  They were all smiles after the first 2 days of school - so thankful!  Bella starts Kindergarten this week.  We also went in and met with her teacher this past week.  We have heard only wonderful things, so we are really excited about her year. She CANNNOT wait to get started!

Soccer is also in full swing.  First games are today and practice between the two happen almost every night.  We are a busy running family right now, but we love it!

The bracelet orders and dog collar orders are starting to come in and we are all very excited about this!!  (Thanks to those you have ordered some!  And thanks to those who have donated to our puzzle!)  Will post pics of the boys making them soon.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Introducing our Eli!!

We are so excited to announce that we have been matched with our Eli!!  We have been waiting to share our news until we received our PA (pre-approval) from China.  (Although, if you have seen us, you probably have seen us oozing with joy and ready to share our pics.)  We sent in our Letter of Intent to adopt Eli on August 4th and his file was locked for us on August 9th.  What can we tell you about Eli??  Well ... he is 17 months old and has the biggest, most adorable eyes.  We are totally in love with him and CANNOT wait to bring him home.  He is in Luoyang Orphanage in the Henan Province.  From what we have learned, this orphanage has around 600 children and the Henan province has 20 orphanages in all.

Eli was born with a unilateral cleft lip and palate and both have been repaired!!  We know there are more surgeries that he will need, but are thrilled that his palate has already been repaired. We are not sure when we are going to get to travel, but we're praying it will be before the end of the year.

Everyone is curious what the kids think of Eli.  Well, let's just say they are soooo excited!  Aidan has already bought him a sock monkey, made him a bracelet, drawn pictures for him, and has decorated a gift bag that says, "Wecome Home Eli!".  He also wants to buy him a little soccer ball so that he has his own.  Keenan wants to get him big blocks since I explained that Legos may not be a good idea yet.  We aren't sure what Bella thinks yet, but she knows Eli is from China just like she is and she asks about him daily.

Now ... for the not so fun part.  As most know, adoptions can be very costly and China adoptions range from $25,000 to $30,000.  Michael and I are blessed that we both work for companies who provide some adoption assistance, but it is not enough to cover all of the adoption costs.  One cost is the orphanage donation that is around $5500 and normally has to be made in cash.  To be honest, this is one expense we are not ready for.  We are starting a couple of fundraisers and if you would like to give to help bring Eli home, we would love your support!!

We are creating a puzzle for our first fund.  The puzzle is being made with a picture of Eli.  We are asking for a donation of $10 per puzzle piece.  Once you donate through PayPal (link on the right of the page), we will add your name to the back of the puzzle piece(s) and we will put the piece or pieces together.  We think this is one way that Eli will be able to one day see who helped bring him home.

The second fundraiser is that Aidan and Keenan are making bracelets and dog collars out of paracord and selling them through ebay.  They have been working hard on these.  Essentially, you can choose your color, size (small, medium and large) and style (regular or king cobra).  They can also make dog collars if they are given the length that you need.  The bracelets are $5 or $10 (for king cobra bracelets).  The dog collars are $15.  The paracord makes them very sturdy and they really are pretty neat!!  Click on the links below the pictures to take you to ebay for details on the bracelets or send us an email.  We can either send you the products or can deliver them if you live close to us.

Paracord Adoption Bracelet

Paracord King Cobra Adoption Bracelet

We do appreciate your prayers throughout this entire adoption process.  We could not do this without all of the support and encouragement that we are given.  We give all the glory to God for matching us with Eli.  We know he is our son and can't wait to get him in our arms. 

The Garland's

Friday, August 10, 2012

3 years ago today ...

We met our little girl for the first time!!  Happy family day sweet girl!