cherry blossom baby

"Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but desire fulfilled is a tree of life." Proverbs 13:12 Join the joyous journey to my baby in China!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Miss Abbey

Many of you have contacted me and asked about what is going on. Between floods, kidney stones, and a massive migraine Sunday and Monday, it's been all I could do to get through work and my other responsibilities. I think I am through the hard parts and the rest of my week should be easier.
Last Monday we were working on getting a CT scan for Abbey. As things unfolded it became clear that we would need to get permission from the CCAA before we did this. We had originally hoped it could be done quietly. After some initial emails to get the process started I had a little panic attack. I got really overwhelmed with the thought that Abbey could be withdrawn from the adoption process. I quickly decided that was risk I was not willing to take. I began to feel like the CT was sort of like an amniocentices. If I know this is my daughter then why does it matter now what issues there may or may not be? I also felt very badly at the thought of her being on a train for 3 1/2 hours each way and then undergoing a proceedure like that without me. We will just do whatever we need to do here. This has been an agonizing process for me. It's not something I could decide in a split second. It's something I've had to work through, and I am still doing that. We sang a song at church Sunday that says "with troubles and fears so near me" and that is exactly where I've been, facing huge fears. In the last few days I've been reminded that if I could see things as they really are, God has much more power surrounding me and these fears are gonna have to go. The fear of not having her in my life was much worse than the worries about all the medical concerns. I just got to the point where I told the Lord, I would rather have this child, come what may, than have any other baby. No one else could fill that place that is in my heart for her now.


Congratulations to Tamara, Tiffany, and all the other parents who've just received referrals! I am so happy your long wait is over and you can see your babies sweet faces. I would love for referrals to flood in everyday and match every orphaned child in the world with loving families.
I just found out that my July Secret Pal got her referral too! Congratulations Bailey and Travis for the wonderful Liliana.

Getting Ready

We are in the process of booking our flights this week with China Southern. It looks like we will be leaving on November 1 and returning on November 17. We are tenatively scheduled to get our babies on November 6. Last week we got our visas.
Last week I also went for my car seat installation class - it was great. They had me take apart the seat so that I am familiar with all of it and then we practiced putting it in the car several different ways. Seeing the car seat in my car is really making it seem eminent.
Today I had my oath to get Abbey vaccinated notarized. That may be my last official paperwork before we reach China.
We started our fall season of cell groups at church this week. I no longer lead a ladies group, I am a happy member of the families with young children group. We had a great kick-off last night and I am so happy to be connected to these other parents of babies and toddlers.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Better Days up Ahead

I am trying to fix my eyes on the prize - my baby in China. I spent another agonizing night battling kidney stones. My doctor is out of town for ten days. If the stone isn't gone by the time he returns I will need to have surgery in order to deal with this before travelling to China. I was sad to miss work again because of the financial impact and the time away from my class, but nothing could be done. The good news is that all but one of my walls are dry. On Friday the carpet will be cleaned and relayed and then my furniture can go back and I can clean the kitchen floor, which is driving me crazy. I will need to patch all the holes drilled in all the walls so that they could dry. I just know that brighter days are up ahead and it won't be long until I am on my way to China.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Trying to Comprehend

This a view of the whole page that Zhuozhuo's finding ad was placed in. She's the fourth one on the bottom row. Above her ad you may have noticed the numbers 1389. This means that she was the 1,389th baby whose ad was run in this newspaper last year. Only babies being place for international adoption have an ad in this newspaper, it does not account for all the other foundlings. This is the Nanchang Famer's Daily and covers the Guangdong Province. The gravity of the numbers of children without families is really beginning to register with me. I am a little bit staggered with the thought that this is one province in one country...babies, babies, all needing families.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Welcome Mailee Marguerite!!

You may remember my friend Amanda, she teaches 1st grade right next door to me and we've been in the same small group at church for the past few years. Her mom Helen has been a wonderful support and encouragement to both of us as we have waited for our babies. On Monday evening Amanda had her precious little baby Mailee! When I went to see her the next day I was just amazed with this tiny creature. She is the loveliest little newborn. She was just cooing and looking around - so cute! She was 5.1 lbs so it really gave me a perspective on how tiny Zhuozhuo was when she was found.

More gifts

My secret pal sent these wonderful gifts right around referral time as well. She made this fleecy blankey for Abbey and sent a little stuffed ladybug.

There are two cute rompers, a beautiful dragonfly suncatcher (that matches the ornament Jillian sent), and a very pretty dragonfly hook.
Thank you SP for all the wonderful gifts you've sent along the way. They were so encouraging during the wait.

Referral Gift

Dear Joannah sent me this lovely frame and print right after my referral. I just love it. There is also a gorgeous dragonfly ornament. Thank you so much!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Zhuozhuo's Finding Ad

She was found on April 21, 2005, at the right side of the gates of the Da Ling Fruit Wholesale Market in Yangdong. My, what big eyes she has. She was one day old and 5.7lbs. I don't know when the picture was taken, but it was published July 16, 2005, when she was almost 3 months old. I wish I could have scooped her up that very first day!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Happy Thursday

In the light of everything else that's happened, this really doesn't seem too bad. I am getting to be very tough.

Got Trouble?

While getting dressed for work this morning my whole downstairs flooded. Evidently the water valve in the washing machine malfunctioned. I came downstairs to get something out of the dryer to find myself ankle deep in water.
The good news is that I called my brother in law Bob and my friend Scott and they were out at Starbucks having coffee and came right away. Scott is a pastor in training but he also has a professional cleaning company. Yesterday he got a call for a similar emergency but it was too late and the people had already gotten someone else, if he would have gotten committed to that all his equipment would have been tied up and he would have been unable to help me. As it was he had all his stuff - water vaccum, dehumidifiers, and fans. We caught it so soon that he thinks everything can be saved. Since I already called in a sub I am going to use this time to go get a new washer. I am just amazed that right when I needed help, the perfect help was there.
Thank you God!
No news on Miss Abbey yet. Still waiting for approval through the proper channels to get her help.

Saturday, September 09, 2006


After the uplifting news this morning I felt that I had the strength to take another step of faith and mail Abbey's care package. I went to the post office and when I got to the counter the clerk looked at my Chinese label and said, "Do you know someone that lives here?" I explained that it was an orphanage and that I was adopting a child living there and she said, "Well I am from there, my town is 30 minutes away from there." We were both shocked. This is an orphange 3 1/2 hours from Guangzhou, very far out near the South China Sea. She went on to tell me about the town and about how lucky my daughter is to come here and how wonderful it will be for her here. I just felt it was another sign that I am on the right path and that this really is my daughter. I bought this little panda bear there that has a little postal stamp on his chest. I am so encouraged.

Miracle Alert!

Thank you to all of you who have been praying for Zhuozhuo and I. I have a had a major breakthrough today in finding out how to get her help and how to get the information we need. I am very encouraged. Sorry to be so vague but I really can't say what all is happening, just that God is making a way for me where there didn't seem to be any way. Please pray as there are many steps and people involved that will need to cooperate and help us. There is light that has come into my darkness and I now have a lifeline so I won't go under. I feel that I am being rescued when I was drowning.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

WHEN LOVE TAKES YOU IN (by Steven Curtis Chapman)

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Parenthood 101

Dear Friends,
I apologize for my lapse in blogging. I want to thank each and every one of you for all your kind words about my daughter. Your enthusiastic support has meant so much to me. This week has proved to be a very challenging one. The day after my referral I awoke at 4 a.m. in a lot of pain. I eventually went to the hospital due to kidney stones. Along with beginning the school year in my first grade teaching position I've had many other issues on my mind. I received my referral last Friday and of course was on Cloud 9 for a few days. On Monday I recieved her medical report translation and on Wednesday her growth report. I then submitted them to my pediatrician. He had some positive things to say but also pointed out some issues of potential concern. At that point I needed to sign the referral acceptance papers and FedEx them the next day, Thursday, so that my agency could send them to China on Friday. I decided to have Dr. Jane Aronson, international adoption specialist, do an expedited (and very pricey) review of my baby's file. I found out that evening that Dr. Aronson was not in the office and that her associate, who specializes in Russian adoption, would be doing the review. They have 4 categories they place referrals into. 1. Average - This covers the risks that we are all aware of with international adoptions. The babies have a normal health report from China with no known medical conditions. The majority of the referrals they see from China fall into this category. 2. Mild - One medical conditon. 3. Moderate - Two medical conditions. 4. Extreme - Three or more medical conditions. They have placed my referral in the mild to moderate risk category. There are some minor issues that would be treatable and then there is the potential that there are more serious concerns. Although there have been tears and moments of feeling nauseous, underneath it all I have felt a consistent sense of peace. My agency encouraged me to take my time exploring all the medical issues and suggested that I not return my paperwork with the group so that they could request a new referral if necessary. I felt that I should return my paperwork and stay the course with my referral. I already feel very attached to my daughter and the thought of another baby is not acceptable to me at this point. Needless to say, there has been a lot of soul-searching and prayer this week. My agency contacted China Thursday night about the situation but received back very little information except that they stand by what they have already written in the exam. I have asked my agency to contact China again this weekend to get additional information as suggested by the doctor. I signed my referral acceptance and it went to China yesterday. I've gone from the heights of excitement to a very sobering state of mind. Having spent the past few years praying about this adoption I do not believe that there would be a mistake in the child selected for me. I believe that God is at work and that He will guide and direct me as I move forward. I will stop this process if I feel that He is directing me to do so, but there have been many obstacles along my path and I have known that I should keep pressing through. In the words of "Amazing Grace"...Through many dangers, toils and snares, we have already come. Tis' grace that's brough us safe thus far, and grace will lead us on. I received an email last week with an interview from Pastor Rick Warren who authored the best selling book, The Purpose Driven Life . The year that his book skyrocketed was also the year that his wife was diagnosed with cancer. He said that he used to think that life was hills and valleys, going from a dark time to a mountaintop, back and forth. He now believes that life is not hills and valleys, but more like two rails on a railroad track, at all times you can have something good going on and something bad. He also says that God is more concerned in our character than our comfort. I could so relate to that this week, as my time of great joy has been tempered by the difficulties. As we know, the adoption process is not all ladybugs and cute outfits and what I am sharing with you now is part of the balance of issues that can arise. I already feel so much love for my daughter and want to respect her privacy by not going into the details of the medical concerns in a public forum but I can discuss things more privately through email. Right now I have 4 pages of emails that I have not yet responded to, but I will as I get back on my feet. I am now going to add my email address to my blogger profile. This situation has really caught me off guard and has very much felt like a shocking and freezing cold shower that you weren't expecting. I have thoroughly educated myself about Chinese adoption but was still under the impression that by being in the non-special needs program I would not receive a referral with known medical concerns. I am very aware that many people have unknown issues arise while in China and upon returning home. Of course this is true of biological children as well.
So this is my overdue update and I again want to say that I appreciate all of you.
Trusting God,