"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?"


"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.