John had to leave town for work..beaches of Normandy anyone?...then he came back...I love it when he comes back!
Garage sale stuff is a little overwhelming to me at the moment.....
I have chosen denial.
When your two car garage is absolutely filled with mounds of stuff that you have four days to sort through before strangers ring your bell at 4am, I have found it tis best to just close the door and live in denial.
Thankfully a dear friend of mine is coming into town on Friday to drag me out of la-la land and get it done help me out..praise the Lord for that!
LSC's are signed and headed to their next stop!
Care packages for the boys were mailed......and please no one tell my husband how much it cost to mail them...
...my jaw is still on the floor at the post office.
We had our first cold snap...and now there are a few ants trying to make a new home in our house.
I am nesting like a crazy woman which makes the aforementioned ant invasion even less appealing.
Our computers have decided to not cooperate with anything....which makes an online driven homeschool curriculum all the more challenging.....
..not to mention...gasp!....my blog reading and writing!
Priorities after all! Eat-Pray-Blog-Love.....though not in that order.
And I start a new Bible study tonight that I CANNOT WAIT to tell you about.
Our "average of 12 week wait" from now until we land in China time clock has started! Tick tock! Tick tock!
Off to procure more caffeine from my BFF...the coffee pot.
Ok so my fellow AF wives and I apparently have a lot of junk stuff.
We don't have a lot of junk stuff...we just move a lot.
And the curtains that fit in your house in California...
probably won't fit in your house in Delaware.
And that marble bakers rack that your husband brought home from Turkey fit just fine in North Dakota...
...but not so much in Washington DC.
And those full size beds that your kids had in Colorado,
are going to have to be traded in for twin bunk beds in Illinois.
And all of those kids that fit just fine in your base house in Arizona...
now have no room in Florida.
Ok, just kidding...we make room for our kiddos...but the junk...and stuff that no longer works in whenever the world we all are now, well
Because soon enough big giant men employed by the local moving company will ring your doorbell at 7am and begin packing all of your worldly possessions including the contents of your underwear drawer and load them up on a giant truck headed to your new destination. Where you will put on a pretty dress and an even prettier smile and meet and greet and start your world all over again because that man you married? Well, he's a brave man. A hero who serves and manages within a week to fly into a war zone and two days later coach a Little League game. Yeah. I love him.
So when I recently put out the neighborhood call for donations for our garage sale fundraiser to my fellow AF wife posse
here...let me just show you.
Aren't they awesome?
Anyone need a vacuum?
Or another vacuum?
Or a bag or 50 of...well, of something.
I haven't even begun to go through it all yet.
Please do take note of the pile's close proximity to THE CEILING OF THE GARAGE.
Gracious that's alotta stuff!
I'm thinking that tagging each individual item....is totally out.
only because I'd like to finish sometime before the age of 65.
So my current plan is pricing categories!
Ya know when you are a little girl you dream of your prince on a white chariot who swoops in, lifts you off of your dainty feet and away you go into Never Never Land
And then you grow up.
And then you grow up and adopt.
And your white chariot dream turns into this
which, upon it's arrival makes your heart pitter-patter,
and it makes your knees buckle.
your prince emerges from his chariot...
and you swoon.
And instead of a diamond ring,
or a glass slipper
he hands you these.
At which point I got all choked up...
thanked him 400 times more than was necessary,
and went into the house.
And then I read the part on the LSC's that say,
"Child's birth parents could not be ascertained."
....and I burst into an ugly cry.
Sheesh! No one warned me that it would say that.
I know that fact of course about their birth parents...
but seeing it there...
I will be ever grateful to those women for choosing life for these boys.
We don't know much
but we know they
And for that we are thankful.
I'm off now to extract the mascara off of my forehead and cheeks.....
I told ya,
After the drama of yesterday with the phone call,
we went home
had family time
and then sent the twins up for showers.
And then. And then I went up to tuck them into bed.
It was at the point at which I was sitting on Jack's bed reading Henry and the Paper Route that I glanced over at Justin who was apparently ignoring my reading in favor of reading his newly purchased book from StuffMart. And then it hit me.
We. didn't. pay. for. that. book.
He used to be so young.
Just kidding. It wasn't his fault. He had been sitting in the cart the entire time in StuffMart surrounded by groceries, happily reading away. My head was in China and my mouth was making polite conversation with the cashier...
at which point we finished our grocery purchases... and walked out.
You guys must understand...I am a rule follower.
I cross the street only in the crosswalk and only at the appointed time even.
I'm tellin ya.
Rule follower. That's me.
So today he and I drove ourselves right back to StuffMart with the stolen book and ever so kindly explained to a cashier our error.
All was forgiven and she thanked us for our honesty.
And to think they are about to entrust two more children into our care.
You read that right.
I actually hung up on our adoption agency today.
I don't know about you but I am a creature of glorious planning.
Let's peak into Sonia's head for a moment shall we?
Ok here goes.
In my head our phone call about these LSC's would come at around 8:30am.
Just as I was wrapping up my quiet time with the Lord, fully engrossed in the Word, a fresh cup of coffee steaming in the cool crispness of the morning in the backyard.
And the phone would ring.
And I would answer the phone at which point flowers would bloom, birds would sing, the heavens would open up and a sunbeam would shine directly down upon me.
It's a big fall from waaaayyy up there in high expectation land.
I'm not kidding.
My birds chirping, sunshine moment occurred today instead at exactly 4:38 in the middle of the Stuff-Mart where I was letting Justin pick out a new book as a reward for sleeping through the night for the first time in 3 months.
And that would have been all well and good....
....if I didn't hang up on her.
As I think I mentioned before I gave up my iPhone a few months ago to save $$ for our adoption.
And if we could just stop and explore that for a moment. Here are my thoughts:
Going from no iPhone TO an iPhone.
Going from an iPhone TO NO iPhone...
the exact opposite of glorious.
I now have a cheap, rebuilt, piece of junk phone that barely works and is overly sensitive. If you breathe wrong or blink too many times while handling it, it will malfunction.
It's great fun.
-and now the rest of the story-
So there I was, the middle of Stuff-Mart
and the phone rings.
Thinking it was a teenager of mine requesting that I pick up even more edible provision I was discussing the merits of choosing between a Magic Tree House or a Weird School Book with Justin all the while searching for my piece of garbage phone amongst the messiest mommy purse you have ever seen.
When...finally....I find it...
and I pulled it out just in time to see our agency's name in the caller ID...
...at which point
I hung up.
I accidentally hung up on my Jessa.
And then as further proof of this phone's awesomeness, I couldn't get it to dial the number back.
Way not cool.
Or as my kids would say...
Sooooo, that brings us to this
the update that sweet Jessa was trying to give me before I couldn't apparently be bothered to answer the phone correctly:
Our LSC's were mailed from the CCdoubleA on
At which point a typhoon or something decided to strike China....
I think I shall pen a book entitled "How not to lose your mind in the middle of a Chinese adoption where ridiculous things happen to you time and time again."
So our coveted forms are SOMEWHERE between here and the continent of Asia.
Well, Jessa's workin on that.
Perhaps next time she calls I will give her the courtesy of...I dunno...maybe answering the phone?
That's what I know.
And if anyone sees my iPhone please tell it that I am so sorry that I disconnected it and that I miss it terribly.
Yeah. I know right?!
How great is that?!
Big, BIG shout out to Kelly at We are Grafted In for her oh-so-sweet offer to make a button for me...
she knows I'm a technological dork..
and she likes me anyway.
That is true friendship I tell ya.
So grab away! Grab our button and help us spread the word about the amazing miracle that is Jacob & Joseph!
If you post our button to your blog leave me a comment and I'll give you another entry in the raffle! Because...well, because raffles are fun and I want you to win stuff! To see all of the off-the-hook prizes click here!
Well, indeed our agency didn't hear anything back when they inquired last week as to the state of the LSC's.
We've hit a wall.
A great big China sized wall.
Did you know that there are big, great walls in China?
Yeah. I know.
But we are still firmly in His grip and have an oddly quiet peace about it.
With each passing weekend in the over 70 days now that we've been waiting we become renewed for what may lie ahead with the upcoming week.
And it sustains us.
HE sustains us.
So we wait and wait and eat ice cream and wait and wait and...well, eat more ice cream and wait.
And of course stare at some outrageously cute pictures of these boys.
Yes I do believe Jacob is pretending to be a kangaroo with fish lips. It's a big part of why we are crazy in love with him. ;)
And that's where we are at right now.
Which I'm sure is right where we are supposed to be.
Cease striving and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10
The goodness just keeps on getting gooder!.......Ok, very bad grammar aside, there are even MORE prizes that have been added! Woot-Woot! Christian author and speaker Marla Taviano has graciously donated one set of her books!
it would be wrong of me to contribute myself to win some of these prizes right?.....
yes...that would be wrong. Very, very wrong. ;)
Besides I'll stick with my grand prize pictured here:
But seriously, there's some great stuff going on around here!
My friend Jennifer a Mary Kay consultant is giving one winner a chance to order anything Mary Kay at....are you ready for this?....
50% OFF RETAIL. Any order big or small.
That's 50% off of her consultant's price..which is remarkable! She is throwing in free shipping to you as well!
Finally, my friend Bobbie, an AdvoCare rep is donating two packages of AdvoCare Spark Energy Drink.
Since 1993, AdvoCare® has been a world-class nutrition company specializing in health and wellness, weight management, vibrant energy and sports performance. AdvoCare Spark is AdvoCare’s best selling product. AdvoCare Spark® Energy Drink mix is a unique multi-nutrient system that's designed to provide nutritionally advanced, long-lasting energy and enhanced mental focus.* Its 21 vitamins, minerals and nutrients work synergistically to give you healthy, balanced energy without making you jittery like other caffeinated beverages. Up for raffle are two(2) boxes of AdvoCare Spark!!
I'm not thinking it was the big news I was hoping for.
I thinking it was no news at all.
Know what that means?
It means we hope for Monday!
Psalm 31:24 Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the LORD.
And can I just say on a different note how humbled and overwhelmed we are with friends and strangers alike that have seriously stepped up and poured out their emotional and financial support on us?
Thank you doesn't even seem to be a big enough word to describe our immense gratitude. Please know that you are making a BIG, eternal difference in the lives of these two boys! Thank you so, so much!
We would be so grateful if everyone could please keep spreading the word about our raffle! More prizes are going to be added today! I would make a button to make it easier....but uhhh...I kinda don't have a clue how to do that!
Yep, I'm a dork.
A technological dork.
This I know.
Off to prepare for hubs birthday tonight! Mmmmmm, smores and family game night.
My friend Megan has graciously donated a Pampered Chef knife to giveaway on our raffle!
It...well, it's a knife so it does all sortsa knifey type things!
It's the 5" utility knife from their Forged Collection!
You can check out the rest of Pampered Chef products here!
And to see all of the prizes click here! We are still short of the funds needed so we are incredibly appreciative and will be forever grateful for your help in bringing them home! Prizes will be drawn on October 15th!
As I was reading this morning in the backyard with the birds chirping, the sun shining down, a hot cup of coffee in my hand and my Bible in my lap I read this from Acts Chapter 1. Jesus is about to ascend into Heaven and his disciples are questioning him about when the time will be at which He will restore His kingdom.
......ahhh..questioning Him about His timing.....
My name is Sonia.
Nice to meet you.
Anyhoo, here is Christ's response:
" He said to them, "It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses both in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth."Acts 1:7-8
Btw I had no idea what on earth an epoch was so I looked it up. It means a particular part of history or an era....just in case you were curious.
Bottom line I have NO idea why we are having to wait.
But He knows.
And we trust Him.
Now if my impatient flesh would just continually remember that it'd be a hecka of a lot easier!
Now on to another pressing item....my friend Cari has tagged me to come up with 10 surprising things about myself....
what she doesn't know is that I am like the most boring person on the planet...so coming up with 10 things....
time for my coffee while I ponder that. ;)
My heart hurts.
Joey's word's of
"Please come pick me up early"
just keeps running through my head.
I think this is the shortest blog post in history.....
but it's just kinda where I'm at right now.
...trying to pick them up early...which at this point will be thankful if that is before the end of the year.
Catchin a little air
Catchin a little relaxation.
Ahhhh, such a great day! We headed out on our dear friend's boat on Saturday. We were going to go out on our imaginary boat but decided that their real boat would be more fun.
Jordan learned a little somethin new.
He went from this
and a bit of this
And when you're 12,
that's cool. Way cool.
It was the face plants at the end that prevented me from desiring to rouse myself from my shady position on the boat to give it a try.
So I didn't. The smart people The rest of us stayed with more tame activities
Jumping off the boat
and pretending to be captain's of the ship.
Even if we all know who the captain actually is....
ok Jeremy, you can be captain too.
It was a great family-friend- fun day!
And then it was Sunday.
And we went to church this morning.
And I sinned.
Like sinned, sinned.
And only because my aim is to keep this journal of our lives real am I willing to confess this to you.
Here it goes....I.....I.....
...I wore white sandals to church......
...in the deep, deep south... after Labor Day.
I guess there is a little rebel within me after all.
But all shoe etiquette was soon forgotten because when I sat down and opened the bulletin here is what was staring back at me from the message notes.
Let's just say that all of that mascara that I applied before church...
....and was running down my face.
I looked a bit like I belonged in a heavy metal band....
one that wears white shoes after Labor Day.
I got nuthin new in the ridiculously long bout to drive me crazy wait for LSC's.
I'd be lyin if I said it didn't bother me at all.
It bothers me.
I'm there mom, it should bother me.
It isn't consuming me...which I guess is good considering I have four other sweet faces needing me at the moment....
but it bothers me.
Lately though my heart has been incredibly burdened by those left behind.
Take this little fella in the yellow shirt for instance sitting next to Jacob.
He is one of three kids out of the 8 in Joey & Jacob's foster home that doesn't yet have a family.
Within the next few months 5 of those children will be adopted and
He is 3 weeks younger than the twins and when I look at them it's all I can see.
A child left behind.
Wow. I'm such a downer today...
So how bout a joke?
Please pray with us that Satan gets out of our way in bringing these boys home. We know that he knows that when we finally reach them they will hear the Word and be told of the love the Father has for them and we know that is the last thing the enemy wants.
And if you would like more info on the sweet boy in the picture, let me know and I'll tell you where to find him. He is precious!
Jesus turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men." Matthew 16:23
My dear friend Yvonne has generously donated a Scentsy Warmer to be given away for our raffle!!
Can I get a woot-woot?!
We merciously have had a Scentsy warmer for quite some time and it masks the smell of sweaty boy fills our home with luscious fragrance.
Along with this warmer she is including 3 fall-themed scentsy bars!
Check out the rest of the Scentsy collection here!
This has been the week of photos!!
and can I say.....that's like my favorite week?!
A blog friend of mine just returned with her daughter who was one of Jacob & Joey's foster sisters and in her disposable camera were pic's of the kids in the foster home.....
including two chuckle heads that I know.
Peace out brotha!
Kickin back watchin a little TV(Jacob green shirt)....please Lord let it be something appropriate for his little heart!
I've got a nasty head cold goin on...
it's all fun and games around here....
...until mom gets sick.
In other news, STILL no LSC's...but I'm sure you guessed that already as you didn't hear crazy woman screams waking you up this morning...
...one morning you will hear that..
but don't be alarmed.
It's just me.
And I mean you no harm...
I was just really, really excited.
I've stopped counting how many days we've been waiting...
my mental health has thanked me for that. ;)
All I know is that
long long long
But it's ok.
We are firmly within His grip.
And our faith is un-wavering.
So it's all good.
It'll get here.
The boys may have moustaches and be of voting age by the time they get here..
but they'll get here.
I just know it.
Besides, I think I've figured it all out.
See this picture?
I think there is a new thing going on where the kids have to write their own LSC's.
And man alive those Mandarin characters can be tricky!
No wonder it's taking so long!
I couldn't think of a better Sunday Snapshot than our birthday boy himself. It's been quite the week for our little guy!
I'd say Jacob's pretty jazzed at the news of having a family....but that's just a guess. ;)
A little bit about our sweet boy.
He is 7 months older than Joey and they moved into the family home from the orphanage within months of each other about 3 years ago.
This child has our hearts.....big time.
I can't get enough of how his personality shines through each of his photographs.
Jacob's "special need" is cleft lip & palate. Both of which have been repaired along with a heart condition that is common among cleft affected children. Medically he should be good to go but we see an immense amount of orthodontic work in his future...also quite common with cleft issues.....but we just don't see any of that when we look at him...
we see love!
We see our son!
We see a boy hand crafted by the Maker and placed right into our lives and directly into our hearts.
He is our ever unfolding miracle...
and for that we are ever grateful.
It's been amazing to see how God is weaving these children into our lives and to see how, even from an ocean away, they
He truly is the Father to the fatherless...... He sets the lonely in families; he sets the prisoners free and gives them joy....(Psalm 68:5) He cares for the orphan and we know that He cares about these two precious kids. How He orchestrated all of this and events in our lives leading up to this amazes me every moment of everyday.
In lieu of the new photos showcasing their sweet goofy-ness it has occured to me....
I've seen these shannagins before....
....it's oddly familiar.
...starting with stuffed animals in the refridgerator. That's what I get for going potty by myself and leaving two two year old's alone for 1.2 seconds.
They're our children.
No doubt about it.
Not flesh of my flesh, Nor bone of my bone,
But still miraculously my own. Author: Fleur Conkling Heylinger
I am a forgiven sinner madly in love with my Savior and mother to many somewhat smelly boys who recently returned from China with our two latest additions Jacob & Joseph. Orphanage mates from infancy, 7 months apart and teaching me daily what real love is. 3 months home with Jacob and Joey I found Joshua. Blue, sick, dying and needing a family. 4 months later he was home, healed and leaving me in awe of the healing hand of God. Glory. To. HIM.
May 25th-June 14th 2011 - New Home study June 14th, 2011PA June 16th, 2011 - I-800A sent July 1st, 2011 - I-800A APPROVAL! July 8th, 2011 - DTC! July 11th, 2011 - LID August 1, 2011 - LSC! August 12th, 2011 - I-800 Approval August 19th, 2011 - NVC Cable August 26th, 2011 - Article 5 September 6th, 2011 - TA September 19, 2011 - Gotcha Day!
Questions? Comments? Encouragement? Want to know more about one of these kiddo's? firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesday, February 10, 2010 Made the final decision to adopt after months of prayer
Friday, February 12, 2010 Signed contract with adoption agency and contract to begin home study
Saturday, February 13, 2010 Announced to friends and family that we were adopting through a really fun guessing game on Facebook. :)
Wednesday, February 28, 2010 Precious boy #1 File Locked! LOI sent in!
Wednesday, March 3, 2010 First Home Study visit(though 99% of forms needed for HS completion are already done including requesting all state clearances....all 8 states....thank you Air Force!)
Wednesday, March 10, 2010 Second & Third Home Study visit
Tuesday, March 16, 2010 PA! (17 days from LOI)
Wednesday, March 31, 2010 Fourth and final Home Study visit and lunch at the Cheesecake Factory to celebrate!
Thursday, April 16, 2010 All dossier docs county certified and Secretary of State authenticated! Just waiting on the home study!
Monday, April 19, 2010 Home study done! It's at our agency getting reviewed!
Friday, April 30, 2010 Fingerprints released from fingerprint purgatory(8 1/2 weeks for FP processing)
Monday, May 3, 2010 Final draft with prints sent to agency
Monday, May 10, 2010 Home study officially approved
Tuesday, May 11, 2010 Drove to home study agency to pick up completed home study and overnight-ed I-800A to USCIS!
Tuesday, May 11, 2010 Found out Joey and another precious boy that we fell in love with months ago are in the same foster home and are best friends. Sent 8.2 million emails.
Wednesday, May 19, 2010 All dossier docs except Home Study and Immigration clearance sent to Chinese Consulate for Authentication.
Thursday, May 20, 2010 Agency #2 says yes, they will release kiddo #2's file!
Monday, May 31, 2010 Found out all of our dossier documents were rejected at the C.Consulate. They don't take Fed-Ex right now.
Wednesday, June 7, 2010 Our dossier documents finally return to us. We decide to use a courier for the Consulate this time. It worked, over $300 and a week later we had all of our dossier documents sans the home study and I797-C forms authenticated!
Monday, June 14, 2010 am Sent our dossier sans the home study and I-797C forms to our agency for review.
Monday, June 14, 2010 pm Found out that we received a request for evidence. Our dossier isn't going to China this week. This was a hard day.
Monday, June 21, 2010 Request for evidence resolved! Our I-797C is on it's way to us and we are trying to get our dossier to China this Friday!!
Wednesday, June 23, 2010 Everything that could go wrong. Did go wrong. Our dossier is not going to China this week.
Monday, June 28, 2010 Home Study and immigration approval are with the courier! Our agency should receive it all on Thursday, dare I say we may be DTC Friday?!
Friday, July 2, 2010 DTC!
Thursday, July 8, 2010 LID!
Wednesday, July 21, 2010 6:01pm Received a phone call that we have verbal permission from the CC*AA for the dual adoption. Cried like a baby.
Friday, July 30, 2010 After 9 days of both agencies working out the deets, we submitted the required paperwork to have his file officially transferred to our agency.
Monday, August 23, 2010 8:11am Received a phone call that the CCAA is skipping PA for Jacob and moving right into LSC "asap"!
Thursday, September 23, 2010 LSC X 2! (ASAP in Mandarin apparently means 4 weeks)
September 27th, 2010 I-800 mailed
October 27th, 2010 I-800 approved(adjudicator called to let me know, we haven't yet received it in the mail however)
Saturday, October 30th, 2010 I-800 approval arrived in the mail
Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010 Cabled!
Friday, November 5, 2010 NVC letter/DS-230 & LSC's back to China!