Sunday, September 23, 2012

While we wait ...

While we wait for the Letter of Acceptance from China, we have been enjoying the outdoors and this beautiful weather!

Bella loves that she is going to be a big sister (check our her shirt that a friend of mine gave her) 
We are able to send care packages to Eli.  Our agency prepares a letter in both English and Chinese and provides labels for pictures.  Under each picture in the photo album we have included the Chinese name for "Father", "Mother", "Big Brother" and "Big Sister".  This is usually the orphanage's first communication that Eli is being adopted and that there is a family eagerly waiting to bring him home.

We took a trip to an apple farm today.  The kids enjoyed the time with friends.  We took a hayride and survived the corn maze.  Here are a few pics:

Keenan, Aidan and Matthew (Aidan's friend)

The farmer allowed Bella to feed donuts to the pigs ... who knew they loved donuts?!

Bella, Aidan, Matthew and Keenan

Me and my kiddos

Keenan, Aidan and Matthew

Also wanted to share this pic.  Love this "in action" pic of Aidan

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

What I know and what I don't

What I know ...  I know there are 147 million orphans (and some believe that estimate is low).  I know that less than 1% of 1% of them will ever be adopted (that is an extremely low number!).  This number saddens me to no end.  I know ... that 2 of those will join (and already have) joined our family.  I know that there is a little boy on the other side of the planet who has never had the love of a mother, the love of a father or the love of brothers and a sister.  I know that he does not know about us yet and that he wakes up each day surrounded by many other "orphans" and goes through his normal routine each and every day, with many days probably looking a lot like the others.  I know that as I write this, he is probably sleeping and my heart aches to have him here ... to hold him, to love on him and for him to know that he is ours ... forever ... and that he will no longer be motherless, fatherless or without a home and siblings who adore him.  I do know that he has a Heavenly Father that loves him unconditionally and is watching over him each and every day and will for the rest of his life.  I do know that our family has been called to the fatherless and the orphans of this world and we have been blessed beyond measure to see so many orphans find their forever families.  I believe everyone is called to something and this is our something.  Not too shabby, huh?

What I don't know ... I don't know why Eli's birth parents did not feel that they could take care of him.  I don't know what that will be like for him as he gets older.  I don't know the struggles that we may have as a family, but who does?

I know that I am a child of God and one that cannot wait to grab my little guy up in China and shower him with love like he has never known.  Please continue to pray for our family.  This is truly a rollercoaster ride.  We are waiting for our Letter of Acceptance and there is no true prediction of when this might come.  Our prayer is that we will receive it this month so we might have the chance to travel before the end of the year.  This would mean a relatively "quick" LOA, but we know God can move mountains!  The kids keep asking if Eli will be here before Christmas and unless we get that LOA soon, I don't think it will happen (because of all the other steps we need to go through before travel).  But again, God can move mountains, so we will see!

I don't like to write a post without sharing some pics, so here are a few ...

Keenan receiving his new belt
 Bella and Addyson

Our niece, Ashlynn, in all her gear

The boys bithday party ... Keenan is now 7 and Aidan is now 10!!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Bracelets for Eli!!

Orders have been coming in for bracelets and dog collars.  We are thrilled with the response we have been getting with these.  We do have a new color which is an orange and black sawtooth, so if you are a Bengals fan or as my neighbor even pointed out, a Harley Davidson fan, you may like this color.  Let us know if you would like to order a bracelet or 2!!  We can make any size, but the standard sizes are small (5 1/2 inches), medium (6  1/2 inches) or large (8 - 8-1/2 inches).  All colors (other than the orange and black) are found in the picture at the right of the blog page. You can either send us an email or order through ebay (link also at the right on the blog). We can also make dog collars.  We just need the size and color.

Some of the bracelets we made over the weekend
 Bracelet making activities :-)

 Thanks everyone!!!