Thursday, September 29, 2011

Sink or Swim...

He's diving in!

Patrick has been training for an upcoming open water swim.  A BIG event!  On October 8th he will swim 10 MILES in the "Swim the Suck" TN river gorge event.  (It should take about 4 hours!!)
Our good friend, David Clark, will be Patrick's "pilot," paddling beside him all the way in a kayak.  He will provide snacks, water and harassment/motivation!

Why?  Patrick loves a challenge.  But most of all to honor our upcoming adoption!  For those friends who have wanted to partner with us on this journey, you can sponsor Patrick for each mile he completes.  Donations will be applied to adoption agency expenses at Lifeline Children's Services.

The Goal?  To finish well, and to raise awareness of God's love for orphans.  He promised in His word: "I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you."  John 14:18

In view of God's love for us, we look forward to holding this new child... and becoming his/her forever family!

Adoption has been on our hearts since before we married.  God has led us to adopt a child with special needs from China for many reasons.  Growing up in China (for me) has a lot to do with it!  Raising and loving Abby has also caused us to see life with new eyes.

How to Sponsor:

  • Check out the "ChipIn" widget on the side


Sunday, September 25, 2011

Home Study Complete!

Yes!  The first BIG portion of our adoption process is finished.  Whew!

The past 4+ months have been filled with paper work, questions, social worker visits, W2's, and hours of reading and education on international adoption issues.  We've really enjoyed the process and feel like we've learned so much.  Going into this journey Expecting some complications was helpful, especially when I had to go down to the police station for a third time to be fingerprinted!  Apparently my prints were terrible due to lots of hand-washing... can't really be helped.

Josiah helping me put together 'most' of our home study paperwork.

Now we move forward to apply for our Citizenship and Immigration clearance.  While we wait for this to be processed we will be preparing our Dossier.  This is the group of documents that will be notarized, certified and authenticated before being sent to the China Center of Adoption Affairs.  Once this happens we will be officially "logged in" with the Adoption Center and will wait for our referral!

All of this takes a lot of time and waiting.  So, we have plenty of opportunity to read up on adoption related issues.  We want to get some good children's books on adoption so we can be openly discussing this during the next several months.  Josiah is already very aware of the process.

Any suggestions about books on this topic are welcome!

We already found a lending library (APAC) that has many good resources we can borrow.

This definitely is an adventure!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


We started Kindergarten with Josiah recently at home!  It's been fun, interesting, challenging and an adjustment for everyone.  Since we are truly beginners at homeschooling we went with a complete curriculum (Sonlight) that provides everything we need for the year.  And I mean everything!  Down to the paper clips and clay used for the science projects.  This is very helpful for me, since I'm not creative at all.

This is week #5 for us and we've already made some mistakes, gotten behind and made a few tweaks to the schedule in order to make it work for us.  I'm convinced it will take at least a year before I'm comfortable with how things go during the day.  I'm enjoying the time with Josiah, watching him learn and seeing him get excited about new concepts, and reading good stories.  But, don't get me wrong.  We've had our tearful days and bad attitudes... and I do mean WE!

It's fun getting Dad involved when he gets home too.  J loves for Daddy to read to him and help him with his math book.  Daddy is just better at things after a long day with Mommy.  :)

It's been interesting peppering J's lessons between Abby's 7 weekly appointments.  He's not able to do any of his work unsupervised, so we are all learning together.  Patience truly is a virtue I'm in desperate need of these days!  My need for the Lord is incredibly tangible and I'm reminded of His promises every morning.

creating letters with wooden shapes- "Handwriting Without Tears"


Saturday, September 3, 2011

Happy 8th Birthday Abby!

Dear Abby,

Today you are turning eight years old darling girl.  How did we get here so fast?

You have had a good year overall and we are so thankful for relief from the reflux for you.  Your desire to communicate has blossomed and we see your sweet personality more and more each day.  You are getting bigger and now weigh about 36 lbs!  How we remember celebrating every ounce that you gained in the beginning.

One Big thing we celebrated this year was making it 12 months without any BIG seizures!!  We have prayed for you to be free from these awful seizures and the Lord answered!  Each time we drive by the pediatric ER I say a prayer of thanksgiving.  We haven't had to rush you there in a long time!

You started the second grade a few weeks ago and continue to learn and grow with the help of some special teachers.  It's fun to see you take interest in certain toys.  Just the other day you held your little curious george monkey for almost 10 minutes straight!

We are so proud of you!  Your life has touched so many people and we just adore you.

We love you soooo much!

- Dad and Mom
(Josiah and Levi too)