Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Words of Encouragement

Dearest Joey,
Momma knows this time of transition will be challenging for you. My heart aches knowing the pain of separation you will endure when you enter our family. I promise to be there for you and to comfort you with a soothing tone and open arms. Your Chinese name means "brave" and I know you are already a brave little boy. I want you to know that if you do not feel like being brave, it is okay. I will be there and I will be brave for you.
God gives us great pearls of wisdom in His word. I would like to quote a passage from Deuteronomy 31:6 that seems to fit this moment.
"Be brave and steadfast; have no fear or dread of them, for it is the Lord, your God, who marches with you; He will never fail you or forsake you."
I love you my sweet son. I will be there to get you in four more days!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Single Digits!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Can you believe it!!!!!!!!!!!! I am amazed at how the time has flown!! 9 more days to take-off!! WooHoo!! Joey, your MaMa and BaBa will there soon :-)
Joey was doing a puzzle Monday morning on the webcam and he tapped the nanny on the shoulder and pointed to the webcam. He wanted to go sit in front of the camera and show us his work! What a good job you did Joey!! We are so proud of you!!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


The countdown to departure is now underway! Today is ten days from our trip to China! I am so happy!!! I am also very reflective of the changes that are about to take place in our family as we add another member to its ranks. I find myself waking up and looking at Joey's bed and wondering what his mornings will be like once he is here. Will he look out at me with eyes filled with hope and trust or will he regard me as the enemy who took him away from all he knows and is familiar with. Possible a bit of both at times.
Funny how a particular time of day is more intimidating than another. Mornings are tight on time because I drive our daughter to school each day, so leaving on time is important. I pray for smooth least for most days...after all...everyone has a bad morning once in awhile :-) We are not "early to bed people", so if he is having trouble getting to sleep at 8pm, we have a few hours to play with. I do, however, pray for his transition into our time zone. It will a rough couple of weeks adjusting to the 14 hour difference.
Well, I need to go do something productive today..after all..I ONLY HAVE 10 MORE DAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Two Weeks From Tomorrow....

Did I just say "two weeks" from tomorrow?? Where has this week gone?? Oh my! Time is simply flying! I still have so much to do, but I am trying to stay calm and not go around shrieking at everyone that two weeks from tomorrow we are flying to China to pick up our son!!!!!!! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! I feel much better now, thank you:-) I knew you all would understand and cut me some slack if I am a bit dazed and absentminded as I try my best to focus on all of the "to do" lists I have laying around. I have so much to remember that I am most certain I will forget something. Hopefully that something will not be of great importance. You know, like forgetting to clean all four of our bathrooms. Oh, darn...I just remembered to do that!! Maybe I will forget it again tomorrow!!
Truly trying to do at least something adoption related and something non-adoption related each day has been my mantra. Today I printed documents and talked with USCIS and organized the documents we have to take to China with us...and took Kelly over to a friend's house and gave everyone in the house clean sheets!! WooHoo!
Staying focused is very difficult when I pass Joey's room and have to go in and lie down on his bed and look at his wall decorations and his toys and feel the softness of his bed and see the little woooden train track on the floor just ready for his little hands to push the four car train around and around. I envision him there already. I envision him looking up at me with those beautiful brown eyes and me looking back at him. My eyes are always filled with tears of joy as I look at him. As much as I love this little fella, my Beloved loves him even more! Thank you Jesus for the joy of Joey!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

It's a Date!

We have our confirmed dates for travel!! WooHoo! We have waited so long for this day. To finally KNOW the actual day we will meet Joey (and hug him to pieces if he will let us) is surreal. I really don't know how to describe the feelings I am experiencing. Awe. Wonder. Disbelief. Unworthy. Humbled. God loves me so much!! I don't deserve it. Good thing He doesn't hold that against me :-)
Joey has brought me so much joy. Before I see his feet for the first time, they will have walked across my heart. A journey that has taken him deeper and deeper into its very chambers, where love for him flows like my life's blood. He cannot yet understand this love, it will be new to him, as will everything he experiences after Monday morning August 15th. We will refer to this day as "Gotcha Day". The day we first met Joey. He will one day tell us how he felt that day. I wonder how different our stories will be....
As happy as I am to be making travel arrangements, I must pause and pray for Joey. He knows we are coming. He has known for a long time. What is he thinking and wondering about during the wait? He is only 5 years old. The world as he knows it is about to turn upside down. We know he will be safe with us, but he will have to learn this for himself in time. He has seen three of his friends leave the Center where he lives. None of them have returned. I wonder if he realizes the correlation between what has happened to his friends and the fact that they did not return, with his upcoming departure from the Center? Does its cause him excitement or anxiety? I pray that the days until we get there are filled with fun activities and some "normalcy" too. I want him to savor the goodness of his home before he leaves it permanently. I know he is loved where he is at. He will be loved beyond measure where is is going. He brings Joy everywhere he goes. That is The Joy of Joey.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Travel Approval!! YIPPPEEE!

YES! The news we have been waiting for! We have our travel approval!!! It came so much earlier than expected by us, but not unexpectedly for my Lord. He knew before I did...well He knows EVERYTHING before I do!!! LOL!
I want to give Him thanks and praise for all of the blessings He has given  to me. I do not deserve a single thing He has blessed me with, yet He keeps on giving. To Him goes all of the glory in this adoption. He has given me the strength to endure all I needed to endure. He has given me peace when I needed rest. He has given me insight and wisdom when I remembered to ask for it. He is my Lord and Savior and I want everyone to know that without Him, I am nothing.
Joey is waiting for us in China. Not for much longer!! I will e-mail the head nanny when we know our exact travel dates so she can prepare Joey for our coming. I have so much to do, yet here I am typing away because I want to be able to save this in time. This moment of awesome wonder, as I stand on the precipice of a new beginning. I am enduring the final stage of my labor. Joey will be born into our family very soon. My heart is all soft and squishy inside as I contemplate what it will feel like to actually touch his soft skin and smell his hair and feel his little body embraced in a hug. I pray that the Lord has prepared Joey to receive the love we offer so willingly. I pray the Lord will make known to Joey His power and strength. Joey will need to be brave and trust us who are strangers to him. I pray the Lord will ease Joey's transition and give Joey a sense of familiarity with us, so he will somehow "know" us even when we first meet. I pray...always I pray.
Momma's coming Joey. I am almost there...

Friday, July 15, 2011

The Last Step!!

Hello fellow waiters and those curious onlookers too! We have confirmed it officially that we were submitted for travel approval on July 12th!!! This news just takes my breath away!! The last step!!! The next event will include packing and boarding a plane!! It is amazing how God has worked to bring Joey into our family. This precious little boy, who was not known to us until almost a year ago, is now about to officially become our son. He has only seen us in pictures. We have had the ability to see him in pictures and live on a webcam. The nannies at his center have told us that he is waiting for us to come.
" Please Lord prepare Joey's heart for the huge transition he is about to encounter as he meets his new family for the first time. Please prepare him for a change in his culture, language, and caregivers. Place in his heart a sure sense of peace that only You can give him. Please let him feel the love that will be poured out on him and let him "know" that we are his family right from the start. Please remove all fear from his heart as he transitions into our family. Help us bring him home and into Your family and into Your church! Amen"

Thursday, June 16, 2011


I want to squeeze him to pieces!! That face is always on my mind. He is waiting for us to come and we are waiting on permission to go. The Lord has a time prepared for us to travel, and when we go, I will rejoice! For now, I gaze upon the most beautiful set of brown eyes I have ever seen. He melts my heart!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Awww. How pretty!

This is a bit off-topic as far as adoption is concerned, but I had to share. Last weekend my daughter went to her first Spring dance at school. She was just so pretty all dressed up! I am amazed at how much growing up she has done this year. I know she is only 12, but sometimes she gives me glimpses into the young woman she is evolving into. Our kiddos grow up way to fast! I sometimes long for the "princess" outfits when I see her dressed and ready to take on the world! Lord Jesus, bless the sweet daughter you have entrusted to me. Please give me wisdom to parent her and to keep her in a close relationship with you! Amen!

Saturday, May 21, 2011


Greetings my friends!!

You have certainly been more patient than I have been waitng for updates! I have a BIG ONE for you! Please join me in praising God for the gift of our LOA (Letter of Acceptance)!!! YES! That's right! We have been officially approved by the CCCWA(China Center for Children's Welfare and Adoption) to adopt Joey! That is what this piece of paper is all about .(It looks pretty cool too with all of the Chinese characters on it!) I am moved beyond words. God is so good!

I now have a fresh, new stack of documents to mail on Monday morning. I love each stack of paper. I know, it is a crazy thing to say, and I stress over every single form, and it is a pain in the patootie to fill them all out, but really, seriously, each form brings me one step closer to boarding a plane bound for my little boy. How cool is that?!!

Joey so sweet. Last Sunday night, Monday morning for him as his part of China is 13 hours ahead of our local time, he drew me a picture. How do I know he drew it for me? Well, after he finished his drawing, he sat in a little yellow chair and held it up for me to see on the web-cam. He smiled at the camera and was saying something that I could not hear because the sound is never on on the web-cam, and well, even if it was, he speaks Mandarin and I wouldn't be able to understand him. (Personally though, I think he was saying,"Look at my picture Momma! Do you like it?) With tears running down my face, I called back to him,"Yes, Joey! What a beautiful picture you made! I LOVE IT! I cannot wait to hang it on the refridgerator when you come home!! Mommy loves you so much!!"

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Addition To Our Timeline Family

Well hello there!
  I must be honest and say that I was prostrate yesterday asking the Lord some very hard questions. He answered them very clearly, "Trust My heart, when you can't see My hand". Okay, I will. I have been very anxious lately as I tried very hard to keep the lessons learned in the past all in my heart. We waited a long time for an update on our timeline, and I was about to despair..not a good thing. I knew I needed some extra "knee" time. I had to settle my spirit so that I could hear the words I needed to hear. His reaffirming voice, in my heart telling me to wait on Him.
I heard today that another waiting mother finally heard  good news and added another date to her timeline. I felt GENUINE joy for her and her family. It felt SO GOOD to feel that JOY!
Right after talking with her, my agency called and gave us our much awaited for date for our LID!! So, I will add that to our timeline family today :-)

July 1, 2010- Signed application with our adoption agency.
August 24, 2010- Saw our son for the first time! (Well, at least I saw his picture!!)
September 16, 2010- Our son's file was locked for us! (This is a blog post all it's own!)
September 21,2010- LOI  (Letter of Intent)
October 12, 2010- PA!! (Pre-approval).
November 26, 2010- Received completed homestudy in the mail.
December 1, 2010- Mailed in our I800A application to USCIS.
January 3, 2011- USCIS fingerprint appointment.
January 28, 2011- I800A approved!!
February 15, 2011- Sent dossier to our agency.
March 3, 2011- DTC!!! (Dossier to China).
March 14, 2011- LID!! (Log In Date)

I am humbled and in awe of how big our God is. Thank you Lord for your provision.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Bed time...zzzzzz

  I have been obsessing, I mean, searching for just the right bedding for Joey. It was VERY hard!! I am very picky...and on a budget....which makes things even harder. I had in mind something without a cartoon character/super hero/ action figure. I don't have anything against said things, they just didn't seem to "fit" the image in my daydream of tucking him in bed under the softest, most cozy bedding that I could find. I know that if I was being transported to "far,far away" with my new Mama and Baba, I would want everything that touched me to be all soft and cozy. With all of that being said, Joey is a four year old little boy. He needs a four year old little boy bedding set. It needs to be blue....and have something decidedly "boy" on it somewhere..don't you agree? I thought so! Well, I felt an inner voice urging me into a store on Thursday. I was told to look for bedding. Hmmm. Okay. I went, cause I can get in a heap of trouble if I don't listen to that inner voice! Well, at first, I didn't see anything. Hmmm. Um, Inner Voice? I thought there was some good bedding in here? "Keep looking" was the response. So I rounded the last aisle that had any bedding on it and there it was! All blue and everything! Rolled up snug and cozy, cradling a matching pillow sham in its arms. Ah, but, would it, could it, be as soft as it looked? YES!! Ooooh, ahhhhh. Just the feel I was looking for. Now, is it in the size I need? Yep! The word TWIN was written in bold letters! One more hurdle...$$$$$$. As I rolled the "roll" over to see the price I held my breath. (Gulp) Is that what I think it is? Dare I hope? Could it be? A CLEARANCE STICKER?? WooHoo!!!!! Jackpot! Needless to say, I tucked the mini comforter set under my arm like a football and took off to the front counter to pay. I was so exhilarated by this find! The sheets that I found matched perfectly and added just the right "boy" touch. Thank you Jesus for being in the details. You know exactly what we need, and you always deliver!! Oh. I did mention that I prayed for His  help while looking didn't I? No? Oh, well, I should have, cause I did!! I would not trust he details of my life to just anyone! Only Him who loves me best of all.
Sweet dreams Joey. I sure hope you like your new bed when you get home.

Monday, March 28, 2011


Okay, I know I said I was on limited computer time, but I just don't think  it is fair to not share this with all of you.
 I was watching a recorded segment of video from the live webcam that is on every Sunday night in our son's foster care center, when I realized absentmindedly that Joey looked to be wearing a new shirt...or at least a shirt I had never seen him in before. As I continued to watch him run and play and sit at his little yellow table to draw on the magna doodle, I kept seeing the shirt and it dawned on me that it was like a jersey...with numbers on it. Hmmm. Ok. No biggie, right? Well, then I realized that the words across the chest of my son were that of a university in THE STATE THAT WE LIVE IN!!!!!! Hold on!! Could it really say that? I looked and looked, and there was no doubt about it! Without even knowing it, Joey was advertising his "home" state. How cool is that??!!
A step farther...What are the chances that any orphan in China would be wearing a jersey from a universiy in the United States? What are the chances that the one child that WAS wearing said jersey would be in the process of being adopted by parents in the VERY STATE that  jersey named? What are the chances that this precious child would be wearing this state jersey on the only day of the week that his mommy would be watching, and could see him in it? Just blows the mind doesn't it?!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Hello? Hello? Hello!!!

Yes, yes, I am still here! I have given up most of my computer time for Lent, so I will not post much this season. Funny, but their is not much to post.... that is how it is with adoption. First there is so much to tell, then nothing for weeks. Ah well, life is much the same. We go along for many days of hum drum, beating the pavement, and then BAM! something out of the ordinary happens and we talk about it for days.
The big question is always, "How is the aoption going?"  It is going fine, just not as fast as I would like, but who could blame me for wanting to hold my new son in my arms as soon as heavenly possible??
We have yet to hear if we have been officially logged in with the CCCWA (The CCAA changed their name). We are thinking we have been, because our dossier was sent to China 24 days ago. If we are correct, then we are now waiting on our Letter of Acceptance (LOA). When this gets to us, we will be continuing the downhill ride to picking up our son. I am not looking for our LOA until late April, which means there will be slim pickins of updates until then. Sorry :-(
Accompany me on this journey through Lent and take the time to enjoy this beautiful season. There is much to be thankful for and I, for one, don't want to miss a minute of it!!
Peace be with you.

Friday, March 11, 2011


In my last post, I mentioned timelines. Well, I am here now to plot out least where we are so far. I may elaborate in another post, but for now, I will try to stick to the dates :-)

July 1, 2010- Signed application with our adoption agency.
August 24, 2010- Saw our son for the first time! (Well, at least I saw his picture!!)
September 16, 2010- Our son's file was locked for us! (This is a blog post all it's own!)
September 21,2010- LOI  (Letter on Intent)
October 12, 2010- PA!! (Pre-approval).
November 26, 2010- Received completed homestudy in the mail.
December 1, 2010- Mailed in our I800A application to USCIS.
January 3, 2011- USCIS fingerprint appointment.
January 28, 2011- I800A approved!!
February 15, 2011- Sent dossier to our agency.
March 3, 2011- DTC!!! (Dossier to China).

Well, that is where we are at this point. There is a lot that went on in between the lines of each of those dates, and we cherish every one of them because they have brought us closer to the day that our son will be in our arms!
I want to thank my Beloved Lord for allowing us this opportunity to adopt. For knowing my weaknesses and for lending me His strength to move forward so His plan can unfold as He wills it to.Thank you Lord for loving me and for allowing me another son to mother!!! Amen.

It's a BOY!!!

I was as surprised as anyone!! We have three bio sons and we have one bio daughter. We thought she needed a sister...but as I looked at the pictures of all of the waiting children, I was drawn to the boys! I really wasn't even looking for a referral at the time, just getting familiar with all of the special needs of the children who were waiting. Our agency told us we could start "looking" after our homestudy was complete. That was fine with me...I was the queen of waiting by then!! LOL! So, while I was just passing the time...I joined many groups to make friends with the BTDT folks who would be my support along the journey, as well as the in-process families who would be along side me in the different phases of the adoption process. I learned all I could about the process and the predicted timelines. Timelines, however fickle they can be, are a sustaining entity during the wait. They are analyzed and reanalyzed until you are on a plane!
One particular group that I joined actually had many people advocating for children who were waiting for their family to find them. AND THEY HAD PICTURES!!!!!!
Of course, I perused the photos and one day.................there HE was! HE? (Once again, "Um, God? A boy? Seriously?" ) But I knew..I knew he was our son...I knew because he LOOKED like us...even though he is Chinese and we are not, he LOOKED like us. He smiled out of his picture and I knew. (Not to mention that he had incredibly good hair...just like all of my boys !) He is now waiting on us to come for him.
It's a boy!

The Beginning

When starting a story, it is prudent to start at the beginning...but where exactly is that??? Our adoption story began long, long ago, before I was born. I believe God destined me for adoption. He gave me a mother's heart and a love of babies and children that some (including my husband) have a hard time understanding at times. That's okay with me. As long as I understand :-) My mother once told me that when I grew up I would either have a house full of kids or a house full of cats...or both!!! I loved this! I actually have four kiddos and three cats! She knows me rather well.
Fast forward to a few years ago, ok maybe about eight. My daughter was turning four and the itch to grow our family was back. We prayed and Wubby agreed to adoption. The trials, grief, and blessings that would follow could fill a book, so I will cut to the chase. We started foster care and enjoyed the company of 9 different children in our home. After that, we decided to adopt internationally. That was in 2006. We started paperwork for an adoption with Guatemala that year and after all of the paperwork was done, we settled in for the wait for referral. It came in June of 2007. A beautiful little girl we would come to know as our daughter and then lose to her biological family. Her return to her family occurred in the fall of 2010. Our sweet "Dani" will forever be a part of our lives in our hearts, and we will love her for all of our days. We miss you sweet girl!! Never you doubt it for a minute!
That occurrence brought us face to face with another adoption decision. Would we, could we, do this again? The answer was a resounding YES!  There was a child out there somewhere who was waiting on our family and I knew God would lead us to that child. I felt an overwhelming urgency to get started again on the path to a new family member. But where to begin??? Why, the beginning of course :-) God! SO I prayed....and prayed....and prayed....
God answered me and said...CHINA. The conversation went something like this:
God: Robin, your child is in China.
Me: No, there must be a mistake.
God: I don't make mistakes. China.
Me: But the plane ride over is SOOOOO long.
God: I know. I put China there.
Me: Oh yeah. Right. Hmmmm. China?
God: Yes, China.
Me: Maybe I will need confirmation that I am hearing you right. How about Taiwan? We are already I600A approved...
God: (Very patiently) No Robin. Your child is not there.
Well, after three VERY cool "confirmations" from Him, I laughed and said,"OK,OK! I get it! We will go to China :-)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Welcome to my blog :-) I hope to spend some time here chronicling our journey to our precious son who waits for us in China. We are not new to the adoption world, but we are new to this adoption, and we are praying that God has blessings for us that we cannot contain!
Already we have been blessed with many new friends, and have experienced the deepening of friendships with old ones.
I have often heard it said that adoption is not for the faint of heart, and I must agree. Before beginning, you must discern your level of commitment. If the adoption was breakfast, would you be the chicken (eggs) or the pig (bacon)? Well, I can most certainly say that I am the pig!! I guess that sometimes it is good to be called a pig :-)

Before I go, I wanted to say Happy Birthday to my mother!  Mom, may God richly bless you for all of the sacrifices you have made. I love you very much!!
Happy Birthday Mom!