Sunday, May 31, 2009


We received our LOA on Friday! Wahooooo! That was fast! Honestly I wasn't expecting it for another couple of weeks but I'll take it! Our estimated travel is in 5-8 weeks which puts us in China somewhere in July. I am told it is so HOT in July. Hot and humid like we have never experienced! We have started working on the paperwork in travel packet II and have everything filled out and notorized that requires it. We have 5-7 days to send the paperwork back to our agency and I hope to get it in the mail by Tuesday. We are making progress!

Next step is our TA and since we are through review this should come pretty quickly! We are almost there!

Friday, May 29, 2009

School's OUT!

The boy's last day of school was yesterday. I went to the school in the afternoon to help with the last day festivities. The game I helped with was the "sombero toss" which was quite interesting because of the breeze blowing! Picture little kids trying to toss somberos onto three pegs and the wind catching the hat and blowing it away! The games ended a little early and the kids went back to their classrooms to watch a movie. I did think about leaving them at school to enjoy my last hour of "freedom" but I ended up asking them if they were ready to go home. Logan and Christian were ready to leave and already had their bookbags packed. We stopped by Ethan's classroom and he said he wanted to stay. I was a little surprised but figured he must want to soak in his last day of elementary school and say goodbye to his friends.

At 3:30 the bus pulled up to the house and Ethan came in the living room and sat on the couch and just stared at me. I said "are you okay?" He said "yes." I knew he was sad with it being his last time in "his" school as a student. I gave him a hug and we both started crying. He said he was sad to have to say goodbye to his friends and to school.

Turns out I am not the only one who is feeling a bit emotional about the ending of one journey and the begining of another. I am glad we have a couple months to enjoy the summer before we begin the new adventure of middle school. Let the summer begin!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

San Diego Marathon

"The marathon's about being in contention over the last 10K. That's when it's about what you have in your core. You have run all the strength, all the superficial fitness out of yourself, and it really comes down to what's left inside you. To be able to draw deep and pull something out of yourself is one of the most tremendous things about the marathon." - Rob de Castella

This Sunday my sister, brother in law, and brother will be running the San Diego marathon. This is such a big achievement for each of them but especially my sister. My sister has struggled with arthritis since she was a child. I can remember when we were younger and she was in grade school that her arthritis would be so bad that there were many mornings that she would not be able to get out of bed because her legs were so stiff that she couldn't walk. She literally would wait in the morning for my dad to carry her out to the kitchen table to eat breakfast and get ready for the day. Still every morning no matter how much pain she was in or how difficult it was to move she got up. Not once do I remember her crying. Not once do I remember her feeling sorry for herself. Never did she give up even when she couldn't participate in the sports she loved she was still there, on the sidelines, cheering her team on. Even when she wasn't feeling 100% she got out there on the basketball court and gave 100%.

A couple weeks back as my sister was running and had a few more miles to go to get to her 20 miles she ran by a group of people. All of the sudden it occured to her that the group that she just ran past was a local arthritis group. She told us that tears just started flowing. She thought of all she had been through and to now be training for a marathon was just overwhelming.

On Saturday quite an accomplishment will be achieved. I am so proud of her! I know she will make it. Her determination and perseverance will see her through it. The same spirit that caused a little girl to get up every day with a smile on her face fighting through the pain is the same spirit that will help her cross that finish line!

Memorial Day Weekend etc.

What a busy but fun weekend we had! On Saturday we went to Kings Island with my sister and brother in law. This is a trip I will always remember and with good reason! Ethan has never been a fan of amusement park rides but rollercoasters in particular. It has always been a struggle to take him because he would refuse to ride any of the rides. Last week he told me that he really wanted to try to ride his first rollercoaster. Not only did he ride his first rollercoaster he ended up riding almost all of the rollercoasters and had such a good time! When I think back to our previous trips to amusement parks it would always make me sad because I knew he would watch everyone else enjoying the rides yet he felt he couldn't for the fear of how they made his "stomach drop" as he would say. He has conquered his fear and will now be able to join in the fun! Of course Logan and Christian rode every ride that they were big enough for. Fear has never been a factor for them!

On Sunday we went to a local park and Brian and the boys rode on a paddleboat on the lake. It was HOT! As they were riding Dani and I walked 2.5 miles in our flips flops(my feet were so sore after) on the trail around the lake. Luckily it was shaded because did I mention it was hot? After our walk we had some ice cream that was well deserved!

Yesterday was the last awards ceremony of the school year and the 5th grade farewell video. The boys all made the honor roll for the year! The 5th grade video was of all the kids during their time in elementary school. It still amazes me to see how much he has grown and changed in six years. They also sung the song "Because You Loved Me" by Celine Dion to the parents. Ethan was literally 5 ft from me during the song. Did I cry? Of course but I was in good company because most of the parents (moms anyway) were crying. I found that if I didn't look at Ethan the tears didn't flow as hard so I did look away quite a bit. He tried not to look at me during the song but made sure to mention to me afterwards that my makeup was running! Thursday is the last day of school and we are ready for the summer to begin!

Our fingerprinting letter did arrive on Friday and our refingerprinting is scheduled for next week! I will be so glad to get this out of the way for the LAST time! Wahoo! Now if we could only get our LOA!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Where oh where.....

is our invitation from USCIS to be refingerprinted for the third time? We received our receipt from USCIS last week saying that they received our $180 money order but no fingerprint invitation. It also looks like there are some rumors flying around out there that swine flu may be holding up LOAs which just happens to be our next big step in this process. Amazing how so many people die every year from influenza yet the mention of swine flu and the world slows down! Still many hurdles to overcome until I can hold my sweet girl!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Introducing Mia Grace Rui

We are thrilled to finally be able to introduce our sweet Mia! Her Chinese name is Dang Rui(pronounced Dong Ray) and she is from Nanyang City, Henan. She was born on February 13, 2008 and just turned 15 months old. She was born with a congenital heart defect and will have surgery soon after coming home.

From her reports at 11 months old she is crawling, knocking two blocks together, and pronounces a letter consciously. She is also described as quiet and having a ready smile. Boy is she going to be in for a change when she comes home because our boys are anything but quiet! She is currently in foster care which we consider a true blessing.

It is hard to believe after all these months of waiting and praying we finally have a daughter. She is truly an answer to many prayers and WE are the lucky ones!

BTW we only received three pictures of her and I lovingly refer to her look as the "bundled baby" look. Doesn't she look thrilled? If you look closely under the hat it does look like she has a head full of hair perfect for hairbows!

For this child I prayed; and the Lord has granted me what I asked of Him. 1 Samuel 1:27

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

Today I am so thankful for the three almost four children who have blessed me with the incredible gift of motherhood. Even with all its ups and downs the joys far exceed the challenges. As I am blogging my boys are upstairs making me breakfast! Strawberry pancakes, eggs, bacon, my Starbucks coffee(yes they went to Starbucks for me this morning!), and toast. Hold on~Dan just came down and asked my if "tsp"means tablespoon or teaspoon~lol!

Happy Mother's Day to all moms whether you are waiting for you first child, busy raising your children, or your children are grown and have children of their own. Enjoy YOUR day!

Saturday, May 09, 2009

The AMAZING news we have been waiting for......

After 18 1/2 months of waiting we are thrilled to announce that we have been matched with our daughter!!!!! I cannot share many details until we receive our PA but she is beautiful and we are so very blessed! Oh and in case you are wondering she is, in fact, a "Mia."