Thursday, October 30, 2008

THE Phone Call

First of all, the kitties are gone. Sniff. Sniff. Actually, my lungs couldn't take it. Something about their cute, fluffy fur just makes me wheeze. And my eyes itch. And my nose sneeze. So, they're with another family that will love and care for them (we hope... we didn't have a chance to do a home study on them, or a post-placement visit).

That was Tuesday afternoon last week. I was so sad, even though they hadn't been to my house in over a week. I was willing for them to stay at my sister's house indefinitely. Her husband, however, was not. He said they must go, and so they did.

I did not have to wait long for the cute and cuddly/baby itch to be scratched. Wednesday night, we got THE phone call from our agency. They had a referral of a little girl for us! AMAZING! I could hardly sleep the rest of the night.

The next day, Thursday, I was already scheduled to travel to Kentucky to visit family and friends for the weekend and run in a race (more on that in another post). So, I got up early and checked the email for the referral file. No pictures, but all the medical information was there. I can't share a whole lot here, only that her birthday is March 15, 2007 and she is very tiny for her age. Our agency had already sent the information to our doctor for her to review.

So, I packed up Abby and my nephew, Thaddeus, and we headed out on the road, leaving all the wonderful details for Billy to handle at home. I made several phone calls from the road, telling family about our referral. And Billy made a few to the doctor and the adoption agency to get more details. Everyone was SO excited. I even made a few people cry... in a good way.

That evening, we had a conference call with the doctor and she explained all the medical stuff. After talking to her, we decided to go for it! So, Billy called the agency the next morning and got all the (additional) paperwork started. They even sent us a couple pictures (which we will share later).

What's next? We have to send a Letter of Intent to China specifically requesting to adopt this child. Then we wait for China to send us a Letter of Acceptance and then, eventually, a Travel Approval letter. We hope to travel before her next birthday, but it could also be as late as April. We don't know, yet.

I have been through a whirlwind of emotions since last Wednesday night. We are so excited to finally know who our daughter will be. But also, "Oh my gosh! We're getting another baby soon!" Thankfully, we have a few months to sort everything out and get ready for her. Hopefully, when China accepts our letter, they will send us updated information on her, like how big she is... so I know what size clothes to bring!

Abby will be traveling with us. She has been wanting a sister almost more than Billy and I have been wanting a daughter so we want to all be together when we become a larger family. My niece, Belle will be traveling as well (hopefully) to help with Abby while we're getting the baby.

Please continue to pray with us that all the details will work out.

I'm gonna be a mama again!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Apple Orchard

We visited a local apple orchard recently with a couple other moms from the MOPS group I attend.

Apple picking, fall trees, pumpkins... all would make for wonderful pictures. Don't you think?

However, I forgot my camera. And my daughter was not exactly dressed in fall colors. Oh, well.

My sister graciously offered to take some for us.

It was a BRIGHT, SUNNY day! Can you tell? Lugging the wagon -- four children and two huge bags of apples!
A clash of the colors.
We finally found something that she matched!
We're still working on finishing those apples we picked. Yummy!

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Annual Trampoline Photo Shoot

It has become a tradition to take a little video of Abby on the trampoline every October/November. You have GOT to check out the ones from previous years. They are TOO cute! And she's grown so much!
Here are the videos from 2006 and 2005.
Here is our video from 2007.

This is the Fourth Annual Trampoline Video.

pure JOY!
love those pony tails!
I'm floating!
Abby took a few of me this year. This is the best of the bunch. I look like the Jolly Green Giant.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Soccer Wrap-Up

Well, here's the compliation of soccer photos taken on the various Saturdays that she played. It was fun, but I'm glad it's only once a week for a couple of months.

A beautiful throw-in!

The ever-present coach pointing to the correct goal. The Team Photo
Run, Abby, Run
With Cousin Andrew. He was in another division (U6), but his team shirt was the same as Abby's.

And here it is: Pack Soccer At Its Best!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Harvest Party

Our church's annual Harvest Party was October 10. It was a beautiful day and a crisp fall evening. We had horse rides, hay ride, a bonfire, fireworks and chili for dinner!

Some of the youth with their silly Youth Pastor on the hay ride.

Here's the fam.

Our wonderful Host and Hostess.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

A Walk In The Woods

(The one in which I wish for a new camera...)

One sunny, Sunday afternoon, my sister asked me if I wanted to take a walk in the woods with her. "Sure!" We loaded up a few kids and a dog and headed out.

Here they are as we first got started. See how happy and smiley they are. Yeah, we're going to have fun!
Doodle Bug and her faithful friend, Callie.
Mama Lily with Abby hiding behind.
Random fact about me: I'm not so sure I look that great in a hat. However, it shades my eyes cause they're sensitive and I don't have any sunglasses.
Abby and her cousin, Little Buddy (not his real name) were taking a long time to catch up to us. Then we figured out why. They were collecting rocks. Their pockets were stuffed!
Ok, here are my camera woes: it is a point-and-shoot, which I love most of the time cause I don't know much about cameras. Because this place in the woods was more shaded, my camera decided to use the flash, which made the picture very dark. Then when I tried to not use the flash, the subjects (aka Doodle and LB) were in motion and were blurry. What's a girl to do?
Again with the flash. Clear subjects (Belle and LB), dark picture.
With the flash again. Cute little subject!! :)
Ok, all you plant lovers out there: What is this??? It looked like bamboo. But in Northern Ohio? Daniel would have been able to tell us. Sigh. (no flash on this one.)
So, I'm hoping to get a new camera with a few more options sometime in the near future. I know the learning curve will be a little steep; I've only ever had point-n-shoot. But Billy has won awards for his photography (back in the days of film) so maybe he can teach me. He did tell me that SLR had something to do with being able to change the lens of a camera. I think. See - steep curve!