Sunday, November 9, 2014

We have a daughter! Part 2

After getting our girls file in our email and waiting patiently for Bud to get home, we opened up what would change our lives!

We began looking over her file and talking and praying. Our girl was in jeopardy of her file being sent back to Ch*na so we needed to make a decision on all this information given whether God was telling us she was ours or not. The file could be sent back any day and without putting it on hold or locking it in there may be no way to find her again. So we took the weekend, seemed like a very long weekend to me, to decide. At first we discussed in full but then we just needed time on our own and then together and then again on our own to see what God was saying. By Sunday night I was sure she was ours. My beloved however needed more time. He left for work Sunday afternoon and my heart was heavy. I just pleaded with God to speak to his heart and make it clear what His Will was. I truly felt the spiritual battle going on in my heart. Bud promised to pray and just seek what it was the Lord was telling him. I gave him the time needed.

Monday morning rolled around and I needed to get some professionals to take a look at her file. I needed to know what we would be dealing with if/when she was ours. So I got on the phone to specialists and then close friends who had friends with medical knowledge. The weird thing was I didn't care to much about what they said in making this decision. I knew in my heart she was ours. I did care however for their opinion on how we would take care of her when we got home. People always told me that once you know the child is yours, the special need won't matter, and won't be what you see. They were right!!

I got a few answers from some medical personnel, but the info I needed from our local children's hospital was not forthcoming quickly. We knew we were in a time crunch to decide but we were trusting God in all this. Bud was still undecided, lots of things on his heart. By Tuesday morning I just said "Honey what is God telling you?" He asked what it took to lock her file in, I said we needed to decide first if she was ours! That was his way of saying, "Honey I think she is ours." So we called our agency and said please put her on hold while we gather (even more) paperwork for her LOI (Letter of Intent) to adopt her. The clock began to tick quickly we had 72 hours to be sure AND to gather all this paperwork.

Being that we are towards the end of our Home Study there was a few things left to do that we hadn't done yet because of timing. But now all of a sudden those things needed to be done within 72 hours. One place we needed copies of something, their computers were down. Then we called our dr's to see if we could get our medical's and found out (without a prior letter from them) that the practice had disbursed! Just as we thought "OK, maybe she isn't ours" our agency called and said that since we were healthy adults that we just needed a letter signed saying that and could get the medical later, as well as a letter to replace the one needed from the place that the computers were down. Just like that God made the impossible POSSIBLE! Oh how he loves us! I stayed up till late that night filling out these pages of paperwork in order NOT to loose our daughter. Sent them to our Case Worker and fell into bed tired but at peace. I would have to wait till the next morning to see if I had done it right!

Email in my inbox Wednesday morning said "We have sent off your LOI for this sweet little girl" now to wait for PA (pre-approval) from Ch*na saying it was OK to move forward with this adoption and that yes indeed she was our girl! Agency said 2 weeks, so we settled in! We weren't in a hurry but knew waiting was just part of this whole thing. You always seem to hurry and wait. We had another Home Study visit the following Wednesday and spoke with our Social Worker about the waiting. She had recently adopted and said it took the full two weeks to get her PA back, and not to be anxious. I thanked her for her knowledge and her help along the way! We truly are blessed with an amazing Agency and Social Worker for our Home Study! Many of you who have adopted in our area have had the same Social Worker so you know what I mean! She is simply heaven sent! Grateful for her!

The following day I was at a sweet friends house doing what I love to do every week, and Bud was at work driving his long drive home. He happened to call me and asked if I had gotten an email. I said "No, should I've?" He said "You better check your email then call me back." I said "OK? is everything alright?" He said "Just go check!" So I hung up but before I could get to the email I had a voice mail. I clicked on the voice mail and the sweetest voice on the other end of the line said words that would change my life forever and bring me to my knees in tears and praise! My caseworker said "Hi Tammy I just wanted to let you know we have received your PA from Ch*na!! Congratulations you have a daughter!!

I was in tears, I could NOT stop crying! I had prayed for this day for 10 years and just like that they said YES! We knew God had already said Yes but we had to get through her country's list of qualifications! I called Bud (still in tears) he couldn't read his email because he was driving. So of course when he answered he was concerned. He asked, "What happened? Is everything ok?" with anxiety in his voice I could tell he was concerned. I mustered the words through tears and sobs "We have PA!" and the reaction from my husband was priceless! His step of faith just one week prior allowing God to do whatever it was He asked of us, came back with a "THANK YOU JESUS" from my husbands lips as loud as he could! He was so happy and giddy and just kept repeating those words. See what happens when you follow His will! He was not able to be home that night but we celebrated with joy here and Chinese food!!

So without further anticipation and with much joy, may I introduce you to the newest member of our family! Waiting for us to finish all this paperwork and to bring her home!! Our second daughter and our fourth child......Our Ladybug Abigail Hannah.......


The journey has only begun! Please join us in celebrating our good God and all He has planned for us! Praise Him with us for our littlest sweetheart!! We are smitten! We have found out she LOVES music and is very shy and quiet. Once she gets to know you they tell us she is a happy girl. She loves it when people smile and doesn't like it when people are serious! I can live with that! We are a pretty happy family! Sounds to me like she is going to fit right in!!! And Abby makes 6 Tatertots!!! We would love it if you would walk this journey with us! Oh what great things The Lord has planned! Don't miss it!! 

Totally blessed and feeling very thankful!
Lots of love and Ladybugs :)

Friday, November 7, 2014

We have a daughter! Part 1

Oh friends, what joy fills my heart!! We have a daughter and she is beautiful!! The Lord works in wonderful ways. We had not planned to really look at kiddo's until we were further along in this process of adoption but God had other plans!! There have been a few kiddo's files we looked at, and one we even asked more about but God just told us to wait. So here is the story.

One Friday afternoon I was looking at an advocacy website for kiddo's from Ch*na. This page took me to our agency's website not by surprise. I was there to check out this little one they were advocating for, not for my interest but so I could share her with others. She was not someone who we felt comfortable moving forward with. While I was there, I did my normal, scroll through the waiting kids, just to see, maybe if our daughter was there. So I kept scrolling, little eyes staring back at me, but God didn't give me any inclination that any of them were ours. I got to one little one who "fit" (for lack of a better word) into the broad spectrum we had given our agency that we would adopt. I clicked on her link that had a video and the hair on my arms stood up! I thought to myself, surely she has a family matched with her. I just non nonchalantly emailed our agency just to see. What you don't know is that we never just email the agency. When there is a child we think possibly might be ours, my hubby and I stop and talk and pray and seek God's will. So this was totally out of the norm. I didn't even mention her to Bud till later.

So the email was sent asking if she had a family that had her locked in or even on hold. I just knew with her background SOMEONE had to have said, "Yes" to her already. Not only had no one said yes, but no one was interested. I thought hmmmm.... our awesome Social worker replied with this info PLUS her file! A file contains pertinent information about a child such as health info, daily routine, what they like, how many times they've been to the Dr, their special need, where they were found, as well as what province and their birth date.

I was visiting a friend that day so I would've normally jumped all over this. I was patient and waited till I got home and called the hubby. One other thing we do is once we get a file we look at it together and pray over it. He was working that night so I had to wait for him to get home later in the evening. It was killing me to wait. I did call him and tell him what I had done. He was very calm and said OK we will look at it when I get home. I was so giddy. I could hardly wait. I mean there it was in my inbox just begging me to look at it. I however honored my hubby with great reluctance and waited!!

This is a long story so I will do it in two parts......

to be continued....

Lots of love and Ladybugs :)

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Our very first Adoption fundraiser!

OK friends here is the latest update on our adoption! We are knee deep in Home study paperwork. Lots of questions and tons more answers. But we are SO excited!! We are having our very first fundraiser and would love your support and prayers!!

God is so so good and loves us more than we can ever ask or imagine!! He is answering prayers we have been praying for 10 years and opening up doors that were closed! ALL in His plans and timing!Praying Jeremiah 29:11 over this whole adoption! 
Here is the link to our fundraiser! And Abby makes 6!

We are so excited to watch God unfold His plans for us! Ready for the ride of our lives!

Lots of love and Ladybugs! :)

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The Journey Begins!!!!!!!

Boy have I been waiting to say that for a LONG time!

I can announce with such joy and happiness that our adoption journey has begun! I have been praying and asking God for a long time to open doors and show us His Will to lead us down His path! He never ceases to amaze me! Things didn't go as we thought they should in the beginning because...well God didn't want us to go that way. So after prayer and much investigation we have followed His path and are moving full steam ahead with this adoption!!

I love that after 10 years of waiting and praying and watching. God picks the perfect time to say "Go"! This journey will not be without turmoil or frustration. But I know that the end will far outweigh everything we will face in the journey! We literally will hold His promises in our arms! To say we are excited is an understatement! We are over the moon!!

Our application has been sent in, a few fee's have been paid. We have done some preliminary paperwork and it gives us great joy to share with you an adoption term we have learned over the years because now our Homestudy begins! We are.....

which simply means we will begin gathering all the paperwork necessary (and its a LOT) to bring our daughter home to her forever family! God has not revealed who she is to us yet but we will be sure to share that with you as soon as we are able to. There are rules and all! But we are so giddy rules aren't bothering us at all! So come along with us on our journey to bring home our Ladybug!! We are in love with her already and do not even know her yet!! So thankful again for God's timing! Pay attention you never know what He may be asking you to do! No matter what it is just "Do Something!"

Join us on our journey as "baby" makes 6!

Lots of Love and Ladybugs!! :)

The Tarter Family! 

Thursday, February 27, 2014

A Mom's Perspective.....Happy 21st Birthday Princess

Today 21 years ago our prayers were answered. After having a sweet baby boy just 2 years and one week prior we prayed that this gift God was giving us was a beautiful bundle of pink joy. God did not disappoint! While lying there on that OR table and Bud excitingly squeezing my hand and wiping my face, we waited expectantly to hear boy or girl? When the doctor said "Congratulations it's a girl!" We sobbed! I truly think our hearts were so full of joy it just spilled out of our eyes! Daddy had his little Princess and I, I had my prayers answered and this perfect pink sweetheart lying in my arms!

Now if you know our girl, that term "sweetheart" still fits her to this day! She really is a very sweet person! So full of love and kindness. She goes out of her way to help anyone. Her and Ernie when they were little were the best of friends! He used to climb up on her crib and just watch her. She would smile that big beautiful smile of hers right back at him, as if to say he would be her life long friend and he would gaze at her with that "I will always protect you" look. And that he still does! She hates it sometimes, but that is just part of being a big brother. She too was equally blessed when she got to become the big sister. She adores her little brother and they too truly are the best of friends!

I remember her being so tiny compared to our boys, both nearly 10 lbs respectively. She was this little tiny 8lb baby girl (yes I know that is an average baby size, but when you have two that are nearly 2 lbs more than she, she looked tiny). What a different dynamic she has brought to our family. At first it was pink ruffles and sweet girl smells, then it turned it to tons of baby dolls and stuffed animals and pink! Lots of pink! That was her favorite color growing up! She loved flowers and bows and ribbons in her hair. Bud used to do her hair in a pony tail (he left the pigtails to me :) ) and she would always ask for a barrette or a ribbon in her hair. Then when she got in school it was Barbie's and Girl Scouts. There she had her heart filled with love because there she met her life long friend Michelle! And her heart was broken when she had to witness the awful torment of cancer taking away a friend she adored. To this day she still thinks of Hayley and talks about her often. Our girl at a young age figured out how sacred life really is. Her heart and her actions still reflect that today.

As middle school came around there was the girl drama that she always hated. She never wanted to be a part of that but somehow got dragged in just a bit. She managed to right herself and pull away from that and I truly think the youth group at church helped with that immensely! Thanks to an awesome Pastor and some wonderful friends, and leaders, our girl fell crazy in love with Jesus even more than she already was! High School came and she tried something new, a little hesitant but she tried Color Guard. Boy did she ever come out of her shell! She loved it! AND she was really good at it! There was still the girl drama and after every long season of both Color/Winter Guard she would say she was done. We would just give her the down time she needed and when try-outs came back around (which was only a few weeks after each season) she would go at it again because she "missed it". Well of course she missed it, she was meant to do it! By her Senior year she had it down pat and I had by that time become a seasoned Marching Band Mom. I had 3 kids in that band at one point. I wore that name very proudly. Not only did she do band but she was also in the choir as well during High School. Music was just in her bones!

While in High School she also found another passion. One that would carry her way beyond the walls of school. She fell in love with making pastries. From the age of 16 she has taken classes upon classes and is still honing the process but it just comes naturally to her. It's as if God gave her those hands to bake and make people happy! She can also cook too. When you go to Culinary college they make sure you can not only bake if that is the field you are going in, but that you can make a meal as well. She already had that advantage, she just got better at it.

I am so very proud of the Woman she is becoming. That sweet little bundle of pink placed in her Daddy's and my arms 21 years ago has touched a lot of lives! So today on her birthday, as always she is trying to make a difference. She has a heart for the orphan and she wants to help end slavery in her generation. If you see her today she is sporting a giant red X on her hand to join others around the globe in the "End it movement" that slavery needs to stop now! God really has something going on in our sweet girls heart. We are just privileged to sit back and watch His plan unfold in our Princess' life! There is more in her heart as well. She is talking about mission trips and possibly joining us on our journey to China to adopt. God only knows what is in store for her! We are just thanking Him for the gift of our daughter!!

Happy 21st birthday Princess Vickie! Your Daddy and I will always be proud that you are ours! We will always "Love you more"!

Blessings and Ladybugs! :)