Saturday, October 30, 2010

I-800 Approval X 2!

Oh yeah baby.

Months ago we went to the United States Citizensh*p and Immigration Service and told them we would like to bring two orphans into the country....
they reviewed our home study and
there is to know about us...
.....anybody else wanna know how many times I pee everyday....
no? Ok...just checkin....
They decided that we are indeed cool people who are capable of caring for two more children...
and they said yes.

Then China sent us our Letter Seeking Confirmation's asking if we do indeed still want to adopt them.... which we replied a big fat
DUH...of course we do...
now we had to then go back to the USC*IS and ask permission for these two specific orphans to come into the country.
And they said yes......again.

We recieved their official letter of yes in the mail today!
Can I get a woot-woot?!!

One more step down!
Just don't ask me what's next.....
it's all a little fuzzy to me.

All I that

Praise you Lord!

Friday, October 29, 2010

How. On. Earth.

do we possibly go to China,
pick up our boys

I. Have. No. Idea.

My heart is absolutely breaking by those that are left behind
and we haven't even gone yet.
I cannot fathom what this will feel like when we get there and see the kiddos still in the orphanage and still in their foster home that do not yet have a family.
How do we not go and love one more
and then one more
and then one more
......I've never in my life used any illicit drugs but I must assume that this is what that must feel like...
Just one more.....

Kiddos like him

and him

Two 6 year olds who are being advocated for by my friend Jean.
They need to have some heart issues addressed

Or then there is this cutie

who is being advocated for by my friend Annie.
He is 5 and also has a heart related issue

These boys have all been waiting a long, loooonnnggg time for someone to ask for them...
to love them
to help to heal them

I have no idea where the Lord will lead us after we get Jacob and Joey home.
But I'm ready to do whatever He would have us do.

Because the fact that there are so many left behind....
is just sooooo not ok with me.

"for it is not hearers of the Law who are just before God, but the doers of the Law will be justified." Romans 2: 13

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


I'm pretty sure that if this adoption were a traditional "pregnancy" I'd be at about 82 weeks pregnant right about now....

Start the pitocin baby,
get the tickets,
man the aircraft
So, soooooo ready.

I assume our I-800's (US immigration approvals round 2) have been approved.
And now the rest of the process is a bit of a jumble to me as to what comes next.
NVC letter
Article 5
TA.....I get that one.
Not entirely sure what I should do next....
other than feed these "pregnancy cravings".
Tips anyone?

Let's get this show on the road already.....sheesh!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A true picture of my mothering skillz

I am an awesome mother.

Justin had a 3rd grade ecosystem project due.
Justin's friends in other 3rd grade classes have also been having ecosystem projects due recently.
Jack is in the 3rd grade.
Jack said he had an ecosystem project due.

So, in my continuing quest for awesomeness I procured the needed supplies from the local craft store and decided last night we would get a head start on both projects.
Head start on school projects = happy, happy parents.

We began with Justin's frozen tundra and immediately were waylaid by some uncooperative marshmallows during the building of the igloo.
Yes I am aware that animals do not build igloos in their frozen tundras....
but it was cute
and it was made of marshmallows
so we pretend
and we eat marshmallows.

But still, we persevered.
We persevered until we gave up and decided to try again tomorrow with sugar cubes.
So we put the frozen tundra on hold and moved on over to Jack's project.

Jack's rainforest was
Mainly because we did the exact same thing and even saved all of the needed materials from one of Jordan's projects a few years back.
Shhhhhhh...don't tell the educators.

Anyhoo, since Jack's was done I thought I'd really, really jump ahead of the game and go ahead and send his to school today even though his wasn't due for a day or two.
Go ahead and be jealous of my pre-planning....I can take it.

Jack thought that to be a grand idea so we loaded up this morning, Justin graciously rolled both backpacks to their seperate classrooms so that Jack could carry his incredibly awesome rainforest project and
I drove away from the carpool line thankful, happy and pleased with ourselves.


And then they came home.

And exactly do I say this.......

That child,
my baby,
walked into that classroom proudly carrying this giant rainforest habitat and the teacher ever so graciously informed them that they needn't do a project.
They passed that chapter weeks ago.

I know.

And then
oh yes, it gets even better.....
I was so distracted by simultaneous belly laughing and being mortified at the whole situation that I, in my multi-tasking-have-four-kids-way then proceeded to give Jordan his antibiotic for his infected splinter......
and I accidentally gave him some kind of pill from a bottle with my husbands name on it instead.
I know.

Hello Poison Control, my name is Sonia.
And I am an awesome mother.
Or a complete idiot.
I forget which one.

And now the rest of the story:

Justin is now writing his report on the rainforest instead of the frozen tundra. They have collaborated to go into Jack's room in the morning and get the completed bigger and better habitat(that in all fairness, they both helped put together). The frozen tundra will go up in the closet awaiting the next child to be assigned the ecosystem project.

Jordan's mystery pill that belonged to John is nothing more than Mobic.....which, I learned today from the lovely folks at Poison from the Advil family. So it's all good and he is now guaranteed free of aches, pains and fever for the next few hours.

Wow. I wonder what more awesomeness I can bestow upon my family today.
The possibilities are endless.

Monday, October 25, 2010

The 21 Rules

Did you know that you can boil down the rules of your home to 21?

Me neither.

I thought there was only 1...
....Do what I say.
Just kidding.

I was given this list at Loving your Children night at an incredible Bible study that I am a part of on Tuesday nights.
Much more about this study coming soon....cuz it's good.
Like good, good.

Anyhoo, I love this list of rules.
My kids love this list of rules.
It hangs prominently above the dining room table
visible to all

a reminder and reference for when they are disobedient
Not that my children are ever, ever disobedient.
hold on.......
I must go recite rule #3 to myself.

There's just some great stuff on here!

We we open something we close it.
When we take something out, we put it back.
Can I get a witness?

My current plan to use this list is when they disobey or misbehave they then walk over to the list and read aloud the rule that they have violated and then attempt to amend whatever offense they have committed.
I'm telling you...
this works wonders.
It's been working wonders the entire time we have been using it...

Hey, you gotta start somewhere! :)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Mott family

Could someone from the Mott family please email me?

Thanks so much!

Friday, October 22, 2010

What's in a name.

We've had more than a few wrinkles of the nose when people ask us what their names are and we tell them that we are keeping their Chinese name as their middle name and then giving them an American name as their first name.
Jacob Benjamin LouJ***
Joseph Samuel LouX**
At which point I then typically add that we will then call them whatever they would like to be called.....

except maybe Firetruck
or Doughnut
or Hot Wheel...

they are boys after all.
You just never know.

Anyhoo, I guess I shouldn't say I've been surprised by the many curious glances and nose wrinkles from those never-adopted-children before people that question our decision to "change" their name...
but I do..
I do get surprised.

And to be quite honest,
I feel like I have to validate that decision to them.
So then I proceed to launch into this dialogue of why we are choosing to do this, why they actually will want an American name, etc, etc.
And then I walk away from that conversation wondering if I said it right.
And most of the time I think of a few more points that I should have added at which point I want to turn and run back in their direction and say,
"Wait! Wait! I remembered something else!!"
But I don't.
I simply keep walking and hope that I have adequately and honest answered their questioning.

Anyhoo, so the same week that I had gotten a couple of nose wrinkles I was reading my blogging friend Chris blog and was blown away by her story that day...
all about her daughter who had at that point been home for about 7 months
and it was all about what is in a name.

So here, reposted with her permission is a story you simply must read.
Just have the tissues handy
cuz when you get to the end
you will ugly cry.
I'm just sayin.

Her {Chinese} Name

Shea likes her Chinese name.

In fact, she loves it.

Fu Hua

She especially loves to be called Hua-Hua!

She likes the way it sounds....
She likes that it was what she was called when she was a baby still living in China....
She likes what it means....Flower or possibly Lucky Flower...maybe Blessed Flower (???)

(I certainly am no expert on Chinese names, but this translation is based on what I was told by our coordinator while in China adopting Shea. Plus some of my friends, who are Chinese, have implied this meaning as well.)

Bottom line, Shea likes her Chinese name.
She likes it also when I say her full name: Shea Emily Hua!

Avery does not like hers AT.ALL!!!

Zu La

My understanding is that Zu La is very unusual.  Quite a few of my {Chinese} friends were scratching their heads over this name.....However, the general consensus was that it means Charming.
(I would have to totally agree...
My Avery is completely charming!)

Many times over the past seven months since she has been home with us, she has firmly indicated that she doesn't like to be called by her Chinese name.  I would ask her why.  She would just shrug her shoulders. And say that she is

Okay then!

When I call Avery by her full name: Avery Lyra Zu La....she wrinkles her nose and tells me that is not her name!

"I am just Avery!"

Okay then!

There are times when Shea wants to be addressed by her Chinese name and wants Avery to be addressed by her Chinese name as well.

Avery wants nothing to do with this!

No way!
No How!
Not happening!

Shea gets frustrated with her....not that Shea is bossy or anything....! Ha!

This is the interesting thing about how Shea & Avery initially responded to us when we used their Chinese names shortly after meeting them:

When we were in China adopting Shea (back in February of 2007), she would not respond to her Chinese name.  Ever!  She immediately embraced Shea as her name.  I would try calling her response.  I would try response.  Even Hua-Hua didn't work. (This nick-name was highly recommend by her foster parents.) Only Shea would do.  Hmmmm....

For Avery, it was the exact opposite. While we were in China this past January,  she absolutely would not even consider acknowledging 'Avery' as her name.  Every where we went, she would tell people her name was Qing Zu La.  And that was that!

Within four to six weeks after arriving home, she was allowing us to call her Avery.  She began responding to Avery.  And then eventually began calling herself Avery.
The other night, Shea was in her 'Chinese name' mode.  She was just loving having us all call her Hua-Hua.
I tried to get Avery in on the 'fun'.  I told her how pretty her name is and how much I love her name....

Zu La

We all tried.

She kept shaking her head no.

She told us not to call her Zu La.

She told us she doesn't like that name.

As always, I asked her why...

This time she had an answer.

It took my breath away.


Then quietly she added....

Barely above a whisper....almost missed by all of us....

"No one loved Zu La....."

to be continued....

Chris just finished Pt. 2 so head on over here and check that out.

I guess no matter what we end up calling them

....must go extract the mascara off of my forehead now.
I told ya
ugly cry.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Well Hello There.

Hello Fall, I've missed you.
Though it's still 85 degrees and I am walking around in a skirt and flip flops
I still like you
a lot.

I like fall fests.
Like-like fall fests.
As in like-like gonna pass it a note in study hall to see if it wants to go steady like-like.

I like the simplicity of them.
The old school games like bean bag toss or dart toss, the balloon man, the snow cones, the popcorn, the free hot dogs and drinks so I don't have to cook that night, it's just good ole fashioned down home fun!

Our neighborhood had their fall fest last night.
shall make for one lovely evening.

Mickey had fun

as did Mario

and his twin/BFF Luigi

as did the teenager

who went as
well, as a teenager. (I heart him)

The giant cookie even had fun....

 cuz he's a cookie.  
And if he's not having fun...then there is seriously something wrong. 

We They played games.
I They ate their candy.

It was just a fun family night!

As for the rest of these pictures....
I'm not sure I have words for them....
Other than to say
And with just never know....

what you're gonna get.

Can I get a witness?!

 Happy Fall Ya'll! 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

This arrived in my mailbox at my house yesterday.



Perhaps they are missing their target market?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

It's all beginning to feel very, very real.

Today as I was getting the paperwork together for our next step I had a thought....
we are going to China.


Hello reality.
My name is Sonia.
Nice to meet you.

For so long this process has been about.....well, about the process.
Trying to wrap my rookie adoption brain around what we needed to do, who we needed to meet with, what form needed to go where, what we needed to do next.....
And now that that is all starting to settle has hit me.
We are going to China. 

These two little boys will soon be so much more than a picture.

They will be real
in the flesh gorgeous little faces that I get to look at and love on
in person. 

Be-still my heart.
I cannot wait to see them, to watch them chatter away with one another in Mandarin, to watch their relationship with their brothers develop, to love them, to feed them, to let them pick out a bicycle for the first time in their life, to teach them about the love of a Savior!...all of that amongst 1 million other things that bring me to my knees with thankfulness, anticipation and hope!
Cannot WAIT!

And though I don't expect it to be a fairytale.
What I do know is that we are smack dab in the center of HIS will.
Just where I wanna be. 

I will not leave you as orphans, I will come to you. John 14:18

Our I-800 saga continues...

I sometimes wonder if I'm being punked.

Our agency made some calls on our behalf on Friday....cuz Jessa's cool like dat.
And lo and behold...after 20 days I wake up to an email & a text message yesterday morning from the lockbox stating that our packets have been forwarded on.

I guess they just needed a good booty kickin. 

But then...
there's the fact that our fat second child fee check that was in the packets has not yet been cashed.

So hopefully our check will be found, soon-soon.....less we get rejected or something.
In the meantime I will compulsively be checking our bank account hoping and hoping that I will see it go down by $670.
I've never in my life been so anxious to see money leave our account! ;)

Still hangin on to the One who has it all worked out!


Monday, October 18, 2010

Twins and Dishes....the aftermath.

I'm calling a Do-Over.
8 year old twin style.

The twins have recently picked up the chore of doing the dishes.
(MUCH to their older brothers delight)

Oh how it pays to have a twin.
One of you loads.
The other one unloads.
Double the mess.
Double the helping hands.
It's all good.

Until....I went to start the dishwasher today that they had "loaded".
And here is what I found:


I'm pretty sure nothing is getting clean like that.
I'm just sayin.
Please do take note of how the silverware is all cozied up together in one little corner.

There must be some super-duper top secret flatware pow-wow goin on.
Shhhh...don't tell the sporks.....they weren't invited.

To their credit
A: They are really cute despite their obvious abhorrant dish loading skillz.
B: Any future twin wives reading this years from now should know that I will do all I can between now and then to remedy the aforementioned dish situation.
C: If I fail at remediating them through the course of Dish 101 please don't blame me.....I beg of you.............
....I tried....I really, really tried.
D: If the afore, afore mentioned remediating does indeed fail....may a most non-intrusive mother in law way.....suggest using paper products so as not to ignite any marital unrest due to their lack of dish skills?
E: My current excuse for the above incident is that they are a bit out of practice as we have been cutting them some major slack during Fall ball baseball season.....there are only so many hours in a day when you are 8 and going to school all day and doing homework and rockin the baseball field all night.
F: But that would just be an excuse.....and I try not to make excuses for my children. It doesn't really do them any favors.......apparently unless it involves baseball and dishes.

So that certainly must account for this particular least that is what I am going to tell myself. 
I think some retraining is in order.
Did I mention how cute they are?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

A How To

If you live with a couple of these

then you really need to head on over to your local Christian bookstore and pick up this

I'm tellin ya.
There is some good stuff goin on in the pages of this book.
Things like
how to tie a tie
Dating....or lack thereof!
...hang on.....let me say that one again..
Peer Pressure
How to dress like a man
and on and on and on. 

It's a good read.

Our teen boys

yes that really is Jason and Jordan and I at a Kutless & Sidewalk Prophets concert at church recently
no it is not ok that they are nearly as tall as I am....
are going through this book as part of their youth group.

Let me just tell ya.....

And as the mother of these chuckle heads.
I couldn't put it down.
It gave me such a great peek into what is going on inside their heads.
This comes easily to my husband....cuz.......well, he used to be a teenage boy.

This book is incredibly relevant,
it's accurate,
it's engaging
it's all approached from a Christian point of view
and it's just downright funny.

The Guys Guide to Life
How to become a man in 224 pages or less
a must read.

If I heard correctly I believe there is also a Girls Guide to Life........
but uhhhh.......
I wouldn't know anything about that.
You'll have to ask someone that goes down the pink aisle at Target about that one. 
I don't even know where the pink aisle is...or what exactly goes on over there.
All I know is that there seems to be lots of sparkles and glitter.   

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Drumroll please...

Wow that was so much fun!!
John and I spent the evening plugging in all of your names on

it was so exciting!!

I feel like I cannot say thank you enough to all of you that donated.

No really.
Thank you sounds.....well,
and incredibly insufficient.

I can't tell you the number of times that I have woken up in the morning,
logged on to my email with a steaming cuppa coffee in my hand
and then proceeded to burst into tears with overflowing thankfulness as donation after donation came in.
Oh how I wish that we had prizes to give to everyone!!!

We are all called commanded to care for the orphan. And though you may not all adopt, you have cared for them, just like He commanded us to.

Ok, less I start crying are the randomly generated winners!

1. Angie G.
2  Kim Bry.
3. Alisa S.
4. Christina W.
5. Lisa S.
6. Erin R.
7. Phil R.
8. Erica M.
9. Kim Bro.
10. Erin G.
11. Jill Spi.
12. Mandy C.
13. William M.
14. Michelle D.
15. Megan Kae.
16. Kelli S.
17. Kelly R.
18. Kim Ban.

I will start by emailing winner #1 who will then select their prize, and then I will contact winner #2 and so on. So it may take me a day or two to hear back from them one by one as they select their prize but hang on! If your name is on the list you will be getting an email from me soon!

Friday, October 15, 2010

I-800 Update & Last Day of the Raffle!!

Well, still no news on where our I-800 is.

Today is Day 18 since it arrived at the lockbox and we still haven't heard anything....
...and they still haven't cashed our second child fee check.
which makes me a little nervous.
But our agency is all over it making some calls and such on our behalf and we are hoping it will be found sometime next week.
So I'll just wait here.
Reminding myself that God is not one second late,
nor one second early.
We will meet those boys at exactly the moment He has planned it.
Ahhhh, love that.

TODAY is the last day of the raffle!! Winners will be drawn tonight at 8pm and I will post the winners tomorrow!!
We are unbelievably only $605 away from fully funding one of their $5,100 orphanage fees!
Only $605 away!!
It has been incredible to watch friends and strangers alike donate $10 here, $50 there, $100 here.

to an amazing $4,495!

Did you know that with all of your donations you are not only helping two little boys come home to their family, you are getting a chance at some prizes, but you are also providing for those left behind(which is what the orphanage donation is used for)? How great is that?!

Thank you SO, so much and if you'd like to get in on the fun and be entered to win some pretty suh-weet prizes there is still time...8pm tonight!

Thank you for being His hands and feet!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Lockbox

is something that I just don't understand.
I'm sure it has it purposes..
..but that doesn't make this wait any easier.

Our I-800 packet has not even arrived to our adjudicator yet.
Not gonna lie...
a little bummed about that.

I have heard no.thing. from anyone yet.
No receipt,
no text,
no email,
our fat check for the second child fee not cashed,

Is that normal? 

All I do know is that tracking it via Fed Ex it did arrive.
And was signed for.
And where our packet went after that?
No idea.

How it takes over 16 days(and counting) to get from Texas to Missouri is somethin I

At this point my prayer is that it has not been lost.
Oh sweet Jesus
please do not let it be lost!

Your bummed blogging friend,

2 Days until the Big Giveaway!

Only 2 days until the giveaway ends! 

We are incredibly thankful to everyone that has donated, you will forever be a part of their story!

If you'd like to donate and be entered into the raffle there is still time! Click on the picture on the sidebar for all of the details on how you can help be a part of their journey home!

To God be the Glory!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


I heart camping.
I heart that my brain seems to completely decompress at the mere sight of a campground. you hear that?
Me neither. Glorious isn't it?

I heart that my kids seem to bond even closer inside of a campground.
I heart the $12/night price tag associated with camping.
I do not
heart it when I forget my coffee creamer.

We had such a great weekend!
Friends who did not forget their coffee creamer and shared with me!

We have hit the friendship jackpot of late in that there are some incredibly great families that we are currently stationed with that all have teenage boys. This is big for us as it seems as though we are typically surrounded by preschoolers. And as cute as they are, it really doesn't do much for our older kiddos. So this has been incredible for them!

So when the invite came we packed up and headed out!

We They set up camp.

Justin decided it would be great fun to submerge himself in mud.

and then lie down in the mud...

and then convince his twin brother that this mud thing was pretty cool and he should come check it out...

which he did.

They played football.

A lot

of football.

This one canoed and canoed and canoed and went tubing and canoed and went tubing.

and he gave his little brothers a spin around the lake.

This one relaxed on the sand.....I fought the urge to just lie down and join him...but then it occured to me that I would then have to add myself to the list of people that needed major cleaning.(reference earlier mud incident)

So I passed.
And now I'm sorry I did.
I've been trying to purposefully participate in those little moments lately...and I missed this one.

So now we are home.
The laundry is calling my name...but I am ignoring it.
Instead I am going to try and convince any one of these now tired/cranky/sleep deprived boys to join me for a bike ride.
I'd say my odds are 50/50.
I'll keep you posted.