"He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. " Philippians 1:6

Friday, December 31, 2010

Plan A, B and C for Travel

With the anticipation of our TA (travel approval to China) to arrive early this next week, that would give us only one week notice to travel so are busy getting a Plan A, B and C in place.

Plan A would be Robert's sister needing to fly in from Germany on less than a week's notice to stay with the kids for one week while Robert travels to Gracie's province and then spends two nights in Guangzhou with us.

Plan B would be for me to do the entire trip alone. :-(

Plan C would be if we don't get TA this next week then we would be back to planning for travel in February coming up with more Plan A's, B's and C's!

This New Year's weekend is going to feel like a whole year instead of a weekend just waiting for Monday to come with a TA!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

A Little Bit of Downs! (X post)

I finally came clean with my mom about Gracie. You see it is hard enough to tell an 80 year old momma that her daughter is adopting her TENTH child when she was the mother of a mere two girls, so I told myself that I was preserving her aging heart by casually forgetting to mention that Gracie has an extra designer gene.

Well, that was until she brought it up on Christmas. I mean come on isn't Christmas Day when you spill the beans on your family???

Anyhoo, I was at the stove cooking and mom was talking to me as Bryson walked in and face-planted on the floor (he falls often when he walks). I picked him up to give him some loving and then sent him on his way. My mom proceeds to tell me that Bryson is going to be with us for a long time. Honestly, that has NEVER crossed my mind with him, but I guess for her 80 year old eyes she sees him more disabled than I.

Like I said SHE brought it up, so I said in reply, "Well, it is a good thing that we are getting Gracie then so he will have company when they are older. You do know mom that Gracie has Down Syndrome, right?"

WHAT!!!!!!???!!!!

"Oh, mom I thought I told you or you could tell in her photos!" wink wink

"No, you never told me!" Not knowing what else to say she says, "Well, she will be loving and she will be loved in your home."

I told her that Gracie appears to be very high functioning and we plan on her attending the same school as her brothers and sister. I reassured her that Gracie is amazing and perfectly made in the image of our God and we love her just as she is.

Conversation ended, we talk a bit longer and then she goes into the other room with my dad. She gets out Gracie's picture and proceeds to whisper to my dad as Robert overhears, "She has a little bit of Downs!"

Yes, mom Gracie has a little bit of Downs and a HUGE family with ALOT of love waiting for her to come home!!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

We need TA!

Please pray that we get TA by December 30th. If not, we could be in for a very long wait like into summer to get Gracie. It is very complicated, but basically we used all of clearances from Gio's adoption since they were still valid. However, those clearances are no longer valid after their February 27th expiration date. We MUST have our consulate appt (CA) in China by 2/27, which is the last few days of your two week China adoption trip. This seems like an easy enough task to complete, but not when you throw in Chinese New Years where all travel for adoption stops after January 14th and does not resume until Feb 11th. Given that the last two dates of travel are Jan 14th and Feb 11th for ALL agencies this will put a high demand on consulate appointments for that week prior to the 27th of each month.

At this point, I would be okay with Feb 11th travel as long as I knew we had a confirmed CA in that last week of February.

I have put my utmost trust in Him for this entire adoption and I still do. It just means that I need more prayer warriors praying in unison with me that our TA will come ASAP. It is unsettling to get this close and then to even contemplate that Gracie may have to wait until summer is just unbearable.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Article 5 Picked Up Today

So today our Article 5 was picked up from the US Consulate. It will be sent to the Chinese Government so they can issue us our Travel Approval (TA). The soonest we could receive TA is December 30th, average wait time is 2-4 weeks. Three weeks would be January 6th.

When will we travel????
Due to the Upcoming Chinese New Years, we know that if we don't leave prior to January 14th we will not travel until February 4th. So with that said, we now KNOW that we will either travel January 14th or February 4th.
In less than one month we will either be in China or we will be antsy waiting to leave on the 4th! Either way has benefits, January 14th means we get her home sooner, but also means scrabbling with perhaps only one week's notice to travel. February 4th means we have more time to organize and plan for our absence.
Regardless in less than two months Gracie will finally be home FOREVER!!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Cake, Cupcakes and One 6 year Old


While Gracie Mae was enjoying this scrumptious cake, we were feasting on yummy pink cupcakes celebrating her 6th birthday!
Cupcakes courtesy of big sis Lu!


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

HaPpY 6th BiRtHdAy Gracie Mae!!!


Our cupcake turns six years old today!!! Happy Birthday Sweet Girl! The last of your birthdays without a forever family. To think that in just six short stinkin weeks (that will fly by due to the holidays) you will be forever in our arms!!!

Hope to get some photos of Gracie blowing out her candles and eating the cake that we sent for her birthday through a lady in China.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Packin' Gracie Bags


Yep, you heard right we are leaving next week to get Gracie!

Okay, that was my dream last night!

So today, I started putting all the items I have been collecting to take to China with us into her carry-on suitcase.

I justify my 6 weeks away from travel packing on the following:

1. It gives me one place to keep all her things for China.
2. It lets me see easily what is still needed to pack.
3. It lets me feel closer to my cupcake!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Education 101 - People First

As a special education teacher, I am very aware of "people first language" therefore often saddened when I hear people refer to people with disabilities using their disability first to refer to a person. People first language simply means that you recognize the person first and then the disability. Many people tend refer to refer to kids with Down Syndrome as "Downs Kid" or "Downs Baby". In the world of autism, you almost always hear people say "autistic kid" or "He is autistic." There is so much MORE to our children than their disability. They are people FIRST!

For instance, Gracie is our daughter and a child of God first and along with it she has an extra chromosome so you may say "Gracie with Down Syndrome" if felt you needed to identify her more than just being "Gracie" or "Sally's Cupcake!"

I use this with adoption language as well. I do not refer to my children through adoption as my "adopted kids". I refer to them as "my kiddos through adoption".

Thanks in advance for seeing Gracie first and her designer genes second!!!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

November and Last Update!!!


Most likely our last update prior to bringing our cupcake home!!! That seems so hard to believe! Gracie is growing, but still a mini-cupcake since she will be 6 in less than 10 days! Looks like she is just a little bit bigger than Mr. B! She is 35 pounds and 42 inches tall. Report states that she is eager to meet her family! We are eager to meet her! To think that in less than two months we should be home with her is amazing!

Friday, November 12, 2010

I800 On It's Way!

Our sweet officer called today to say that she just approved our I800 and for us to have a great weekend!

Going to get pink cupcakes to celebrate!!!!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Couldn't Resist!!!!

Your baby doll with almond eyes and black hair has been ordered!!! Since we will just miss spending your 6th birthday and Christmas with you, I couldn't resist and went all out and got you the Americ*n Girl Bitty Baby. (It is actually harder than you can imagine to find a decent asian baby doll.) I am hoping you will be satisfied by bringing your new doll home instead of your "little brother"! But then again your papa is looking at a 12 passenger van! It is time to come home Gracie Mae! Got letter from USICS that they received your I800 application on October 28th! Hope to have approval in the next 7-10 days!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Hope

Gracie is our HOPE in our chaos right now.

And I HOPE we get an update soon!
Just saying....I can HOPE!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Perfect LOA Gift for Gracie!!!


With an indelible grin on my freckled face as I did the LOA dance in my head down the aisles of T*rget today, I saw these and thought "Yes, Gracie 'There is no place like home'!"

Three Little Letters - LOA! X-Post


These three little letters may only have a value of three measly points in a scr*bble game but they have a value beyond measure in our game of life!

It is our official approval from Chin* saying that we can indeed adopt Gracie Mae!

We are planning on traveling the end of January to bring our sweet cupcake home!!!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

No LOA :-(

No LOA as of yet, but most of you chose 40 days and that is today! So it must be coming this week. I have been keeping up with all the big boards and it doesn't look like any LOA's have been issued last week, so I am believing ours is in the next batch to cross the Pacific!!!

Have total trust in His timing and not mine!! At complete peace with her homecoming!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Feeling an LOA enRoute

Not sure, but I have that a strong suspicion that we will get LOA this week. I know it is less than 30 days, but I have seen them coming and just feel like ours will be here this next week.

Joyfully waiting!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Her bags are packed!

Simply adorable!!!!

Gracie has her bags packed and baby doll in hand ready to come home!!! We are lucky to have another recent visitor send us these photos of our yummy cupcake!!! Truly these frequent photos and updates are what keep us going in the wait for Gracie!

I am ordering an Asian baby doll now to take to China with us in hopes she will agree to bringing home the baby doll instead of her "little brother".

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Take a Guess!- Edited

I just put a poll on the sidebar on when you think we will get LOA for Gracie.

We were 104 days for Bryson and 76 for Gio. But I have seen LOA's come in 30 days. We are at day 16 today.

So what's your guess?

Edited: Don't forget we had record breaking PA in less than 24 hours!!! I am hoping for 30 days, but at peace knowing that God has her day in our arms perfectly authored!

September Gracie Update

Gracie is measuring in at 42 inches tall and 38 pounds.

Report from her baby home:

Everyone calls her Guo Guo and I really don’t know why. She came to us from the orphanage and they called her Guo Guo there. She knows her English name and says she likes it. I told her it sounds a little like Guo Guo. But no one calls her by her English name, but she does know what it is.

She has a leadership personality, no bossy, but she has no problem letting you know what she likes or wants. She compliant and is learning more and more to obey. She is a pleaser and loves it when rewarded with a hug.

She is doing well, she went to camp for one week and went swimming everyday. She really likes swimming. She runs, plays, jumps, seems to have no problem with balance or mobility.

She knows her family is coming, but she doesn’t seem anxious about it. She loves to have her picture made and to be measured. She basically lives in the here and now. She’s always happy when I arrive, calling me “nainai bao mu” (grandma babysitter). She’s the first child to call me this!

I think she sounds adorable and like she will fit in just fine in our home!!! This mama is missing this little one today!!! OUr home just doesn't feel complete without her! She is already ingrained into our lives!!


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Little Brother

To all inquiring minds, the status on Gracie's "little brother" is that he is no where near having his paperwork in order for us to bring him home with Gracie. His adoption for anyone at best at this point is at least one year away. Honestly, that takes much pressure off of us at this point.

This means we will go get Gracie as and when planned. We will be able to meet "little brother" at the time and then be prayer filled on the next step, if there is one. Our faith reminds us that He will align the path if it is His will and not ours or Gracie's :-). We are just trying hard to always follow the path.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Will there be 11?

(Photo from a group birthday party, not Gracies!)

I awoke to a wonderful heart smiling email from a family who just visited the big kid home where Gracie is and this is what it says!

A new two year old boy with Down Syndrome was recently moved from the baby home to the big kid home where Gracie is. He was sad and cried the entire first day. Gracie took care of him and made him happy. She has fallen in love with him and him with her! She refers to him as little brother and says she is now not leaving China without him. She instructed the visitors to write to her mama and baba to let them know!!!

Oh, this email made my heart melt for a variety of reasons.

First, it tells me how aware Gracie is of her surroundings and that she is getting adopted.

Second, it tells me that how smart she is to tell them to write us letting us know that he is coming too!

Third, it tells me that she loves like Jesus!!!!

Robert's reply to the email. "Can we have a two for one if we bring him home too?"

Have I ever told ya how much I love my hubby's heart?!?!?!?

Friday, September 10, 2010

LID!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We are LID for Gracie as of yesterday 9/9/2010!!! The official countdown can begin!!

Check out post below. Two exciting posts in one morning!!!! Another TGIF that is for certain!

Friday, September 3, 2010

TGIF and DTC!!!!

What does that spell???
It's going to be a great 3 day weekend!
and one HUGE step closer to our
cupcake!
I think we shall celebrate with some fancy girlie cupcakes!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

I800A Certified and at Courier

Just when I think I am buried too deeply and questioning how on earth I can add another child to our current situation, God reveals Himself in this adoption. He has been so faithful all along. I just always need to remind myself of that when I get discouraged or overwhelmed. Truly in all our adoptions we have seen His hand at work usually in hindsight (only due to our blinders), but not with Gracie's it has been all upfront and obvious from the get go!

Yesterday, our I800A arrived in the mailbox. As soon as the bell rang, I was out of my classroom and here are bullets of what happened in less than 2 miraculous hours!
  • Came home picked up I800A
  • Went to notary to get it notarized
  • Drove 25 miles to downtown Sacramento to Secretary of State's office in Friday late afternoon traffic to get I800A certified
  • I was the only person in line at 4pm so Gracie's forms were done in less than ten minutes giving me extra time on my meter to grab a quick decaf soy latte at the coffee house across the street to enjoy on my drive back home swimming upriver in the Friday traffic!
  • Got back to our town, went to Fedex to photocopy all documents and ship off to our courier in San Francisco who will get overnight service at the Chinese Consulate for authentication of documents. She will them Fedex directly to our agency. We hope to be DTC by Friday!!!
  • Back home to take on the littles and Nana to relieve Robert by 5pm!
Courier just emailed me. She has our documents safely in her hands. She looked them all over and said I did all the forms correctly.....5th time leads to perfection, right?

Friday, August 27, 2010

Going Public with Gracie's Blog

I have decided to go public with Gracie's blog, so no more passwords and logging in to find out what is going on with her adoption.

However, DTC to getting the next approval and then travel is the slowest time of the adoption process. So there may not be much to post unless of course I get some updates and photos of our girl!

I do know that she is getting tutor a few times a week in English and learning her ABC's. Yeah for Gracie!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I800A Approval!!!

Happy Happy News!! It's a YES!!! We have our I800A approval from the U S Government. That means we can send our dossier to China now. It should be in China by this time next week!! We have been hoping for a log in date in China by September 15 and that is now looking very realistic. With this timeline we are looking at a beginning of February to mid February travel date.

Maybe we will end up in Beijing for Chinese New's Years again. And to think that I thought last year was a once in a lifetime event for us! Maybe we should make it a tradition! Just saying.....

Friday, August 20, 2010

I800A News

We have been assigned a really sweet officer for Gracie. She called me within 30 minutes of reviewing our paperwork to let me know she needed a few items that I should have known to do, but I think I am truly brain dead right now. Anyhoo, it seems like we should have our approval on Monday if all else goes well! Maybe since she is sweet she will email a copy of it to me!!

Stay tuned as we have a a tender announcement to make soon!

Friday, August 6, 2010

I800A Check Cashed

Our check was cashed by immigration yesterday, I am hoping that means that we are one step closer to getting approval. Our fingerprints are valid until February 27, 2011 so we are hoping that means quicker approval of our I800A. Now that would be make governmental sense sweet, wouldn't it?!?!?!

I shall put a call into the immigration department on Wednesday. Ya know just to check in, see how it's moving along, to see which immigration officer has been assigned to Gracie. I think that is fair, don't you????

Thursday, July 29, 2010

August Gracie Update

Say Cheese!
She is growing up in front of us!
What a cupcake!
Report states she is trying to potty train the younger kids in the home!
Can't cha just eat her up??
Look at her cute little arm around that babe!
The fun her and Marissa are going to have together.
Two little mamas!
Honestly, I can't get enough of this little one!!! Here is what our latest update says about our Gracie!

She received a package with photos from her new family. She shows them to everyone. She still continues to be the “little boss” of the house, telling me about the little problems of each child. She is so cute. She is very protective of all the children. She has no problems getting along with everyone. We will miss her but so happy she has a forever family and will be joining them soon. She knows her new name, but still calls herself by guoguo, her chinese nickname. She loves her new clothes and looks forward to her family coming soon. We ask her to smile, but I think she is aware her teeth are a little crooked so she smiled without opening her mouth, which really isn’t a smile at all. She understand all vocal communication.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

No Regrets

Sorry, but yet another mushy hubby and really lucky kid to call papa story! What can I say, but I am head over heels in love with my guy!


A few days ago our lives turned upside down. The same day we were told about Gio's Thalassemia being more severe is the same day we were told by the doctors to get hospice for Robert's terminally ill mother. We have since moved her from two hours away to our home. She needs 24 hour care at this point.

So why am I telling you all this on Gracie's blog? Trust me there is a delightful story behind the pain of the last few days. Remember me telling you about Robert not being ready or open to a child with Down Syndrome in our past adoptions? Clearly that has changed since we are adopting Gracie, but it gets better.


I was a tad overwhelmed with the big changes going on regarding Gio, Bryson's seemingly never ending needs and MIL wondering how on earth can we fit Gracie into all of this right now. I brought it up to my hubby wanting to get his thoughts and truly wanting to take his lead even if he agreed it was too much and we needed to back out of this adoption. As hard as that would be, I was preparing myself for it.


But instead what I got was MY great hubby and father who's heart has not only changed for adopting a child with Down Syndrome but one who is now advocating for her as well. I was weak and he was strong!


My love for him grew tenfold (hard to imagine, I know!) when he told me that once his mom passes that we would have regrets for not adopting Gracie. He told me that he has already started bonding with her and that she is meant to be our daughter. When I reminded him that she has Down Syndrome, his reply was "Yeah, she will probably be our easiest one! She won't need blood transfusions. She won't need us to carry her or need additional surgeries. It doesn't matter to me that she has Down Syndrome."


We will stay the course with adopting Gracie. We will take each day as they come and live with no regrets caring for his mother during her final days and no regrets for NOT adopting Gracie because of it!


Gracie Mae, one day soon you will see just how very much we love you and are willing to stay the course regardless of our adversities right now! You are ours and we are yours!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Homestudy Visit for Gio

In order to complete our homestudy for Gracie, we had to wait until Gio actually came home and have the social worker come over and see our newest member of our family to make sure we are capable of adding another. She left with a smile on her face and supportive of our decision to adopt Gracie. As soon as I get the completed homestudy back, we will be able to start the I800A US immigration process. The 13 page form is filled out and ready to add the homestudy and FEDEX. The I800A approval is the only thing we need to add to the already completed paperwork that goes to China!!! I am hoping for this Friday for submission, but will be realistic for next Wednesday.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Care Package Received

Isn't she adorable?
Another treasure has found us!!!
Seems to be pretty proud of her new Letter Factory DVD
To me she is just yummy!!!
Can't wait to come back to bring her home too!!!
New Clothes that I sent her!
"Being Cute is what I do Best!"
Books I added velcro numbers to for her to match numbers
Seeing mama and baba for the first time!!
We are leaving China today from getting Gio and these photos came in an email from our agency today. What perfect timing as our Father is gently reminding me as much as I am done with China today, He still has a treasure waiting here for us!! And yes as much as I want to go home today, if I could I would stay long enough to bring this cupcake home too!! But that is not how it works, so we should be back around the first of the year to bring home our cupcake!!!

Friday, June 25, 2010

DTA !!

Oh, how I love to crack myself up! Nothing like coming up with a new acronym in the already voluminous adoption vocabulary!

Our dossier has been received by our agency via fedex from the San Francisco Chinese Consulate as of yesterday, hence DTA...dossier to agency!!!

So as I sit here in Hong Kong waiting to get our handsome new son, the wheels are always churning in the background trying to get Gracie home as soon as possible. It would be nothing short of a miracle to have her home for her birthday on Dec 1st.

I believe in miracles!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Clothes for Gracie


We are taking Gracie's care package with us to China and mailing it from there as it will save us about $40. Along with the clothes we have made a photo album for her of her forever family. Marissa wrote her the sweetest little note and taped it to the back cover of the album.

Today, I found this darling little patriotic dress 60% off for the fourth of July. I knew I would not be able to find such a dress in the winter when we travel to bring her home. I figure I can just put a white turtleneck underneath and some leggings and it will be the perfect outfit for the oath-swearing ceremony at the Consulate.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

More Grace for Gracie!!!

Our dossier is on its way to the Chinese Consulate with the exception our immigration I800A approval that we can not apply for until we bring Gio home, but all else is completed in our dossier!! Woot!!! Woot!!!

But back to the post title of More Grace for my Gracie!!! I know better than to go to downtown Sacramento to the Secretary of State's office without quarters for parking. But what did I do? Yep, showed up with no quarters! Frustrated because I was on a time crunch, I opened my purse that NEVER has coins in it and started praying thinking of Linn with her memorial box when I moved my bottomless purse clutter and find not one but two QUARTERS!!!! Yippee!!!

Even more Grace for Gracie! As soon as I get into the Secretary of State's notary dept, I walk right up to the counter getting served immediately and given a mere 30 minute wait time. Just enough time for me to fill out Consulate paperwork and Fedex slips. (I am getting to know these guys at SOS after 5 adoptions and they are awesome. They LOVE helping for adoptions.) Anyhow, I go to sit down and the line behind me has grown to the door. By the time I left, the line was out the door and down the hallway with over a two hour wait!! Not me, 30 minutes and I was out of there!!! All I can say is Grace for Gracie!!!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

We Have It!!! PA that is!!

We got our PA in less than 24 hours!!! Oh my goodness!!!! I am speechless!!

Remember at the beginning of the story of Gracie how I said that God's hands are all over this adoption? Just another example of how He is leading this little girl to her forever mommy and daddy!!!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Submitted for PA (Pre-Approval) From China

Our first round of paperwork has been officially submitted to China for getting approval to adopt our Gracie Mae!!! Hoping to have it PA prior to going to China for Gio!!!

I am so at peace with this adoption! I am filled with joy that I get to be her momma!!! She makes my heart smile WIDE!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Paperwork Update

Our dossier is complete with the exception of adding Gio to our homestudy on July 12th and then submitting for our I800A. Our hope is to be DTC (paperwork to China) by the 20th of August. High hopes, but we can do it!!!

Now that we have travel approval for Gio, we can apply for pre-approval for Gracie. We would love to have PA by the time we go to China. It will make for an extra sweet trip if we do!

Paperchasing for two simultaneously is only for the crazy!!! Go ahead call me CR@Z%Y!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Gracie at the Park

Our sweet Gracie got to go to a local park with some volunteers that came last weekend. Here she is playing on a bounce house!!! She is our precious lambie!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Love Love Love Love



Are we lucky or what?
This little one just exudes love of life!
Can't wait to love her up!

Monday, May 17, 2010

May's Update!!!


Yes, we have another three page update on Gracie. This is what we know!!!
She is very little even though she looks bigger in photos. Her measurements are just a little bigger than Bryson who is a super peanut. She is 39 inches tall and weighs 33 pounds.
Deep sleeper
Potty trained
Can ride a tricycle
Can run and jump without falling
Can go up and down stairs
Likes to clean the house and set the table
Can wash face and brush teeth
Can speak clearly
Can call all people by their names
Likes to read books with pictures
Can count from 1-10
Can say simple poems
Likes to ask questions
Has a sense of time regarding today, yesterday and tomorrow
Can button a shirt
Can recognize sizes and shapes
Likes to help with chores
LIkes to learn new games
Likes to be funny
Has a great imagination
Can recognize gender
Has a sense of self
Likes to play mom and dad
Knows how to take turns but is still learning to be patient
Likes to tattle tale
Afraid of the dark
Jealous
Understands right from wrong
LIkes to trade toys
Likes to be rewarded
Likes to make parents happy
Likes to share family stories with others
Likes to play outside
Makes excuses

"Her nickname is Guoguo. We all love her very much. She really likes to go outside. If visitors come, she gets her shoes and starts to prepare to go out. She also gets the other bigger kids ready. She also like to feed and help the babies. She is a real helper. She realizes she has a new family and has asked for photos of them."


Okay, I could hardly work today after I got this email. All I want to do is run to China and bring her home NOW!!!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Two More Photos!!!

Just found two more recent photos of Gracie on the website. This is just more than my heart can handle!!!! I love being able to see her in new photos so often. It makes my connection to her so real!

I will have to figure out how to scan the photos and put them on here. It was a smilebox slideshow thanking all the volunteers who act like mothers at the orphanage. Let me tell you my heart cried, my eyes filled with crocodile tears reading the caption under the photo of her holding a baby, another orphan. As this is what it said in regards to our Gracie Mae:

"This little girl is already a great mommy. She has a forever family and will be adopted soon!"

All because He called us to adopt her and we were not afraid to obey Him nor were afraid to challenge the adoption agency, she will now have a mommy and daddy who will love her forever!!! Tears continue to flow.......... This sweet child's adoption is a testimony to what our Father's love can do for you!!!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Moving Along!

This photo was taken in March of Gracie!

Sorry to keep you waiting, but everything is moving along just fine with our adoption process of our sweet Gracie Mae. Honestly, there is not a day that goes by that I don't yearn for her to be home with us.

Our agency has given us their "official" approval to proceed. We are gathering all documents and our plan is to be DTC by August 1st. We have to wait until Gio is home to complete the homestudy, but even that our homestudy agency is NOT making us do anything new other than meet Gio for our homestudy since our last one is so current!!!

We have even told my "old school" parents about Gracie and have their blessings! This is just an adoption that is meant to happen for our family!!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

An Organized Ring Leader Like her Mama!


This adorable photo is the one I found on the website of her baby home. I can't enlarge it, but she is so stinkin cute in this picture. It is one of my favorites! The following report is from March 21, 2010. Honestly, if you did not know she has down syndrome you certainly would not know by this report! She sounds like a typical child, bless her precious little heart!

"Yu continues to grow taller and taller. She is more and more vocal and loves to sing songs and quote some Chinese poems. She is wonderful at copying others in movements and facial expressions. She loves to write and has become better and better in her fine motor skills.

She is so excited to have longer hair that can now be pulled back into a ponytail. She doesn't like to wear shoes and socks but we make her. She prefers dresses to pants and is really quite the little lady. (Marissa and her can be girlie together in their dresses!)

She often goes home with some of the nannies to their local villages. She enjoys being outside and pouts if anyone is leaving and she doesn't get to go along. (This means we might have a spoiled girl to deal with :-), I can deal with that much better than not being taken care of! )

She is a great organizer and always tells me what is going on with the other children. She is definitely the "ring leader" at the big kid house. She loves being a big sister to the little ones and is very kind and loving." (Yep, that's my girl!)

Oh my goodness, I could just eat her up!!!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

She's Got Personality Galore!



This report is from July 2009 after she had been in the baby home for a 5 months. She was 4 1/2 at the time.

Yu (Gracie) arrived on 2/18/2009. She manages to make us all feel happy about life each day. She has adjusted well to her new environment and we feel she will benefit from more personalized attention. We have found a foster family for her. It is a lady she already knows. She loves eating, music, and writing, even though her fine motor skills need improving. Her language is good and she makes her desires known easily. She gets along well with others and is very caring of the other children.

She never actually went to a foster home as the report says. But I love that she makes life happy for so many. We are pretty certain she will do the same for us! My next post will be our most recent report from two weeks ago. Let's just say that she continues to amaze us!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Okay Some More to the Amazing Story!!!


Most of you know that my job has been up in the air all year as far as WHAT I am teaching for next year. Well about 3 weeks ago, I was officially offered a kindergarten for moderate to severe students. Actually they are creating the kindergarten so I can stay on the dreaded second part of my job, being on a district assessment team for all incoming three year olds.

Anyhow, I already have a girl with down syndrome placed in my class for next year. It is actually turning out be more of a high functioning class. The point to this story is that when I do go back to work after getting Gracie, I will not only get to be her mother, but her teacher!!! She can be placed into my classroom. It will be perfect! I will be able to assess her skills for the rest of the year and be able to make the best recommendation for her for first grade!

Are you seeing God's hands all over this adoption yet??? Does it get any better? Yes, there is even more!!!

Monday, April 5, 2010

More to the Story!

The first picture we saw in September 2009
Simply Adorable!!


So our new agency's heart has changed so much that they were crying on the phone to me today in relief that Gracie finally has a family!!!!! They have already contacted Reece's Rainbow so her bio and photo should be moved to the "Committed Families" section soon!!! They have taken her off their private list of available children AND they are contacting the baby home where she is living to let them know they can start calling her Gracie Mae. They can start preparing her tender little heart for her forever family. They are encouraging us to send packages back and forth. Letters and pictures from our current kids, anything we want to send her while she waits for us. This is beyond yummy!!! I can hardly stand it!! I want to stand on the highest mountain and tell everyone "How Great is Our God!" Only through Him could all of this have happened!!!

There's even more to the story, stay tuned!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Welcome to the Family!






Welcome Gracie Mae to our family! We can't wait to come and bring you home!!
We are hopelessly in love, AGAIN!!