Friday, August 28, 2015

Update and a fundraiser

It has been a crazy summer. Lots going on and some things I am not at liberty to discuss. Let's just say God has been busy and in the works of making His Will known. We were able to get our Dossier to China (DTC) on July 2nd right before we made a cross country trip to see our son who is serving this great country. One week later our Dossier was logged into the system. (LID) then we got an email from our agency about a week later saying it is "In Translation". And that my friends is where we sit. We have been LID for 50 days now and we are anxiously waiting for our next step to have our LOA. An LOA is the Letter of Acceptance the last paperwork if you will saying that Ch*na says YES she is your daughter forever. There are a few more steps after that to get her home but that LOA is our YES for sure!!

We are desperate for our daughter to be home! But we are also raising funds to get her here. Because my friends adoption is expensive and it is a hard journey! But we would not trade it for anything! We have also gotten an update while we've been waiting. Our little Ladybug has not grown much. She is about the size of a one year old. She is 28 months old now so she is TINY!! Her little feet are a mere 4 inches long!! Is that tiny or what!!

I thought you might enjoy what we like to call  her "Karate stance" We are crazy smitten about this girl!!

And this one we think is her "I just woke up from a nap face"

She loves her blocks

We cannot wait to get her home!

In the mean time this is what we have been up to. Please join us in bringing her home!Our Tshirt fundraiser is in full swing. I am so excited about this fundraiser. We have put our hand and hearts into it to make it perfect!! This is very special to me in many ways. I do not have much family left so God brings people into my life to fill the gap. We like to call them our OHANA! They are not blodd but they define the word FAMILY perfectly!! I am sure you all have someone in your life that isn't related to but who is more like family than anything. They are your Ohana. Abby is part of our family now, not by blood but by LOVE! I feel that is how God makes OHANA'S, by LOVE! There are a LOT of you out there that we consider our OHANA. I really hope you know who you are. Please join us in this fundraiser, yes to help raise money, but also to bring awareness to how God makes a family, an Ohana, by LOVE!! Excited to share this with you!!

Here are the details: These t-shirts are really soft shirts.
If you are between sizes please order the next size up to be safe.
All shirts are $22.00 shipped. $2.00 more for 2XL & 3XL
If you are local then there is no shipping charge, which makes the shirt $20.00 (plus $2.00 extra for bigger sizes)

Sizes available
Adult sizes Small, Medium, Large X-Large, 2XL and 3XL
Colors Dark Heather Grey or Berry

Youth sizes Small, Medium, Large
Colors Dark Heather Grey or Berry

Toddler sizes 2T, 3T, and 4T
Colors Black or Pink

We do have to meet a very minimum amount to place each order in each category. So once those minimums are met I will place the order and your shirts should arrive to me in 7-10 days and I will sort and ship them immediately.

You may pay by check or by our Paypal or cash is always welcome if you are local. Let me know the sizes and colors you need, your address, if you aren't local and I will get you the information for payment. You can also make a donation through our Gofundme page. The link is on the side of this blog!

Thank you SO much for helping us bring Abby home!!!!

Lots of love and Ladybugs :)

Friday, June 5, 2015

This Adoption journey just keeps getting better

For those of you just joining us. Let me tell you our story rather quickly. We are a family of 5 almost 6 that God set us on this journey called adoption 11 years ago now! We watched and waited and prayed and watched some more as we began to fall more in love with those sweet Asian faces with the almond shaped eyes. There is a lot to all those years of waiting but just know God prepared us in every single way possible to begin the journey we are on now. He built up our faith SO strong that when He finally said "GO" this past summer we did not hesitate one bit! There have been some road blocks along the way even since He said "GO" but we just kept trusting Him to get us through. Some were to the point of "this journey may not be seen till through the end" BUT GOD! Oh when those words appear in scripture you know big things are going to happen!! 

We trusted and we watched Him show off time and time again!! When others said: 
"you aren't worthy enough,"
"this will not happen,"
"be prepared for a no"
"are you sure you really want to do this?"
"I just don't understand why you are doing this."
"aren't you too old?"
"it's really expensive."
"you already have kids"

and the list goes on.... we said God called us to this! Told us with His own voice and reaffirmed it over and over again for 10 years, THIS is exactly what we are supposed to be doing! But still the hurdles came and the mountains looked steep from where we were. We just kept knocking on those doors and jumping hurdles and asking God to move the mountains if this was His Will. Time after time He did just that!! Do we still have a ways to go? Why Yes! But do we trust Him with everything He has called us too? ABSOLUTELY! This journey was never about us or even or sweetheart waiting for her family. Oh we like to think it is, but it is NOT! It is about our faith and our walk and the greatness and powerfulness of a call on our lives. IT is and always will BE about HIM!!! So as another No gets put into a YES in His book we praise Him once again!!

Today after waiting a mere 30 days, others just prior to us have waited 60-90+ days we were told YES!! All of our paperwork went to USCIS (United States Citizen and Immigration Services) to see whether we were a worthy family to adopt an international child. Let me tell you, our past is not perfect in the worlds eyes. We fought tooth and nail to be honest and try and divulge everything we could. There was one thing forgotten and finding that out before we got all the way to immigration both freed us and frightened us. Because that forgetting could have been our NO! And that NO could have been the end to our journey. Sounds simple to fix but it is NOT when you are looked at with a fine tooth comb through a looking glass. Again we are SO thankful that God's answer continues to be YES!

There is always extra paperwork to send to backup what the mistake was. I was tired of paperwork, tired of being exposed, tired of all the judgement. BUT I would do whatever it took to bring our daughter home. So we asked God that if it was His will, that this process go fast and we would loved to be approved and would LOVE not to have to send MORE paperwork in to explain even more of what they already had in our packet. My Spirit was calm as I prayed but as the wait got closer to a possible time that our file would be assigned to an officer I began to doubt. I became afraid and began to worry. Just this morning I asked God to forgive me for all that and He reassured me with one of my favorite bible verses! Jeremiah 29:11 our adoption verse I like to call it!

I had peace after that. It was like He just smiled GREAT BIG at me! I finished up my quiet time and went about my day. Bud had just got home from work and we were talking. I got a ping on my phone that I had an email. Earlier in the morning every ping made me nervous, but this one I didn't think anything about. I hit the button and there in my inbox was the words NBC HAGUE (the dept that handles adoptions for immigration) I clicked on it without even thinking and these words appeared.....Good morning. Your file was approved yesterday!! Have a great day!!! YESTERDAY!! WHAT!!! I expected, "Your file has not been assigned an officer yet, or we need more paperwork or blah blah blah blah blah, but the words APPROVED totally did not register. It took me a whole second to start screaming my husbands name!! He was 5 feet away from me not even kidding! I just kept repeating his name in this sing son voice over and over again!! Ok maybe I was screaming with excitement! He comes over and says what? I said LOOK!!!! And began to JUMP up and DOWN laughing and praising Our GOOD GOD who always has a YES when we follow His plans!! I have been on cloud 9 all day long! It was not just a, "this MIGHT be something you will have a yes on in the FUTURE." It was an ABSOLUTE YES you ARE qualified and you ARE worthy to be a parent to an international adopted child! We just kept praying that their Yes would line up with God's YES and the two collided today!!!! 

We are so thankful that His plans are far greater than our plans! We know what Satan intended for evil, God intended for good!! We will trust Him on this journey as we are one step closer to our baby girl!! This is a huge leap forward and in a matter of weeks our dossier will be ready to send to Ch*na! But that my friends is another blog!! Please continue to pray for our family and for our little girl. She has had a few of her friends adopted in the last few months and I am sure she might be wondering where her family is. We still have tons of funds to raise so stay tuned for fundraisers and ways you can help us bring her home! We are so thankful for each of you following along and praying for us on this journey and for those who have truly stepped up and are walking this journey with us!! It is not easy but it'll all be worth it when we get to hold our sweetheart in our arms and tell her how Jesus got her home!! We love you Ladybug!! Momma and Daddy are coming just hold on!! Please continue to follow along as we give God all the praise and glory and watch this journey unfold. All for Your Glory Lord!! All for Your Glory!!

Lots of love and Ladybugs :)

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Updates galore!

Hello friends!
Thanks for sticking with us. Is there maybe 2 or 3 out there still following along? If not I will just keep this going to document our journey. First and foremost so thankful God is in control of this crazy journey of life. He sure knows how to throw in the twists and turns. We just hang on for dear life and watch Him work!

We have gotten 2 updates on our little Ladybug since last time I blogged. One right before Valentines day saying she was doing well and has only grown a smidgen. She is definitely our littlest so far!

We finished up our Home study and began working on some fundraisers and then it was time to ask for a cake to be sent to Abby for her 2nd birthday! Now for those of you who do not know, when you ask for a cake to be sent you do not get to choose the cake. You are just very grateful that they get them a cake. We have an amazing contact lady through our agency that does a beautiful job getting packages to our sweetheart. This is our first one sent. We simply just asked for a cake. They send normally 5 pics back to you from the party, we got 15! Yes we were in heaven watching our youngest enjoy cake! And she LOVED it! Not even exaggerating! We giggled at the size of the cake compared to her!

 It is so very pretty. They have a way of making cakes there that just stun you! I think it is the prettiest toddler birthday cake I have ever seen! I do not know what it says on top. Maybe Happy birthday and her Ch*nese name. But here is the picture we just giggled at....

It is bigger than she is! Not even kidding! But the girl loves that cake and put it away! Course she shared with her friends too!

Love how she is licking her fork. Take a look at that plate. She had a pretty good size piece when she started. I think Vickie might have to have her as her taste tester when she gets home! We truly enjoyed celebrating in this manner. We also celebrated here at home, praying that she knew she was loved!

We cannot wait for her next birthday to celebrate all together! We are crazy about our little sweetheart! We have been asking God to protect her and prepare her for our family and also asking for a little bit of joy in these updates. 

Our family has been through some tough changes the last few months. One son is off to start his career and calling on his life. It has been a very tough few months but we are so proud of him!!! Very thankful that God is protecting him in this endeavor. I would love to share with all of you about this but for his safety I cannot do that here. Just please pray for our youngest and his new journey. If you knew what he was doing you would be just as proud of him as we are! 

So as our family adjusts to changes we began more paperwork for the adoption. We have sent off our I800A which is asking our government for permission to find our family suitable to adopt our sweetheart. We would love your prayers in this part of the journey. This is a lot of waiting and praying in this stage on our part. We want them to approve us and we want them to do it quickly because there are always deadlines looming. An important one is coming up for us. Please keep our family in your prayers. In the mean time we are gathering our last bit of paperwork (Thank you JESUS! Feels as if we have been paper pregnant FOREVER.) to complete our Dossier (the 13 pieces of very important paper that will be sent to Ch*na to capture exactly what our family looks like) as we wait on the I800A approval. Stay tuned this ride just keeps going! 

While we wait, it was time to ask for another update on our sweetheart since that one back in February. So while sending off our I800A we also asked our agency to update us on how our Ladybug was doing! They are great about doing this. They got in touch with her SWI (Social Welfare Institution) or you would call it her orphanage, to answer another round of questions from her family! I love asking these questions because they give us insight into her daily life and her personality. So we began the wait for a response. YES more than half of the adoption you spend waiting on one thing our another. These waits are normally pretty good. They did not disappoint! This time 2 more pics and a video!!! We were so excited about the video! But the pics stole our heart!

Here she is working a puzzle. We got video of this and let me tell you what. this girl is SO smart!! They keep telling us she is just the sweetest little thing. I see glimpses of that here and there. But this, this right here did me in!

This is the first time we have seen her smile! Oh how it melts my heart! I just get giddy every time I look at it! Our prayers have been answered in this one single picture of our little Ladybug! She is still the tiniest thing but oh how we are crazy about her!! Asking God to do mighty things to get her home and then through her life! Praying we are worthy enough to be her parents! 

List of prayer requests for us:

Please pray for our family if we come to mind. 
Pray for Abby and her heart to be prepared for us. 
Pray for Tommy and his safety on the journey God has him on. 
Pray that the I800A approval goes smooth and quickly
Pray that God will continue to show up and show off in every area of this adoption and our lives!!
Pray for His continued provision through out this journey. (there is a link to our gofundme page on the side of this blog if you feel led to share with anyone)
Pray that we will not loose sight of His face during all of this.

Thank you for following along with us on this journey (if you are still with us thank you SO much). I promise to update more often! We love that you are watching God unfold His plan for us. His ways are not our ways and His ways are better than we could every hope for our imagine!

Trusting the One who is writing this story!

Lots of love and Ladybugs :)

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

This IS The Year!!!! $20 for 20!

Hello friends!
2015 is upon us and we are SO excited that this is the year we are fulfilling God's calling on our lives and bringing home our little girl!! Abby is waiting for us in Southern China and we cannot wait to go get her!! Here is how you can help! We are asking 250 people to donate a one time $20.00 donation in the next 20 days to our Gofundme account account located on the side of this blog! After every 25 donations made I will do a drawing. The chosen winner will receive a great prize. I have some wonderful friends who have offered to donate lots of different items. I will keep you posted here on each milestone and what the next prize will be. The first prize we will give away will be a few scentsy bars!! If you love these like I do then this is an awesome prize!!!! You will find all the info here and on our fb page. Thank you so much for your generous donations!! Don't forget to share and stay tuned!!!

Lots of love and Ladybugs! :)

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 :)