The Wedding

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The wedding was beautiful... here are just some of the pics taken from Cathy's FB page.








One thing we did learn from this 1700 mile journey is EK is ready for her big journey to China to get ShayleeJoy. She did not complain one time the whole way and was really a little trooper to be in a car seat for so long. We were so proud of her and can't wait for that wonderful day when we head out for CHINA!!!


EllaKate Day in New Jersey

Who decides they will drive to New Jersey one day and head out the next... not us... but we did. Jeff and Cathy's son Oryan, was getting married Saturday in Clinton, NJ but we had decided we couldn't make that long journey with EK. She could never make it that far.

Thursday the Lopes came by our house on their way and it was then we realized we had to head up there too. Friday morning we got up around 4, left by 5, drove for 13 hours and made it to Clinton very tired but very thankful we had come. We drove up to the hotel and Cathy was leaving for the rehearsal... she couldn't even decide if it was really us and when she did, the tears began falling- Jeff was so happy too! Later that night we met them all @ Danielle's parents' home for a dessert party. So fun!

Saturday was the big day for O&D but also for EK because it was the day 4 years ago, she became our forever daughter. We held her, loved her, fed her, and kissed her for the first time. I still look at her today and stand amazed that God has given us such an amazing little girl.


To celebrate, we got up and walked into town to tour, eat lunch, and take pictures. She chose a cute little stuffed puppy for her EK Day gift and named her Belle.








And the highlight of the day for EK... being this CLOSE to a goose!


My Little Author

If there is one thing I have worked so hard to instill in EK, it is the love of writing. We have done 'writing workshop' ever since she was 3. Mostly it has been drawing together with me asking what she wanted me to write then moving to helping her hear sound and inventing the spellings.

Today we had a major breakthrough with no push from me... it was all her. She was at her school table with tons of paper and her drawing books. I was in the kitchen cleaning up from lunch when she walked in with this adorable story! What's so special?

She always wants me to be there with her but today she wrote independently.


She never wants to add the color... she says it messes up her details- well today she added the color.

I love turtles.
(She gave me lots of extra details when she showed it to me. :)

She usually needs a reminder to add words and then wants me to help her sound out but today... she wrote the words all by HERSELF and touched the words as she read to me. I am one proud mama!!! She is pretty proud of herself too!!! Whoo hoo!

This girl can go through some paper! I have to put her on a paper diet each day. I am also going to chop her paper in half so she has more.

I am a firm believer that teaching a child to write makes them extra good readers. So far it is working like a charm!!!


RC Formal 2010

Savannah and Josh enjoyed the Phi Mu RC Formal Saturday night. The pics I have were lifted from Facebook and I tweeked them a smidge in LR. All I can say is... Isn't She Lovely???







Crazy Love!

Monday, March 29, 2010

I was reading blogs last Thursday and came across one of my favorites with this post challenging readers to post about a need they had, or reach out to the needs around them, or post what God had been doing in their lives.

I immediately linked my post Ephesians 3:20 to her post to glorify all that God is doing in our adoption. Well... Ephesians 3:20 turned out to be more amazing than just that post because God began blessing our family through other readers from A Place of Serenity. He sent people to our Chip In button with random donations- complete strangers to me but VERY familiar to God. He knows each one and each gift and my prayer is that He blesses them so graciously with His richest blessings.

We have been given so many blessings through this journey and yet the GREATEST of them all is still to come... the day when little ShayleeJoy walks into our lives forever!


I'll say it again! We can never thank you enough for what God has called you to do for us!!! I know God will take your gift and multiply it for His kingdom. He is bringing home a little one halfway across the world to a family who will teach her about His Love every day of her life! She is the REAL blessing through the obedience of all God has called to this journey.

PS... Just today we received 3 random donations, 1 donation from family, and three new items for the auction. I praise Him with all that is in me!!!

Ephesians 3:20

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Eph. 3:30 Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, 21to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

This scripture is the one singing out in our hearts today.

I began my walking regimen again yesterday and it felt SO good!
Today when I set out on my walk, I stopped by the mailbox first to see if the orders were gone that I was mailing out and just happened to look through the letters there and found an envelope. I figured it was for Scott but curiously opened it anyway. I immediately had chills all over when I saw the money and could barely see through my tears to read the words. I love to believe... "A random case of chills is a definite hug from the Holy Spirit."

The letter began by saying we had probably seen the money and the person wanted us to know it was not a random amount but an amount impressed to them by God when they looked up Isaiah 43:5 (ShayleeJoy's verse) and saw the page number of that scripture.

I ran back toward our house because it just so happens Scott is working from home today and was able to rejoice in this most unexpected blessing. I walked in crying and scared him to death. I handed him the money and letter. We were both speechless. We immediately began racking our brain to figure out who it was from and finally came to the realization that God knows and that is for Him to know and us to be blessed.

How has this blessed us?
This person is obviously a part of our life but has asked to remain anonymous. The blessing in all this is for several reasons:

1. Giving without recognition although I will praise God for this to the mountaintops!..
2. Setting an example in front of our family to be in a position to be able to give to others when God calls...
3. Showing us the fruit in the scripture... Eph 3:20

I have always heard of people getting anonymous amounts of money in the mail and secretly prayed that God would do this for us but ashamedly, I have to confess I don't think I really believed it could or would happen. WELL... even in my unbelief God blessed our family and most of all ShayleeJoy!

What's the lesson in all this???
BELIEVE GOD!!! In my quiet time this morning, God took me to Isaiah 30:15, "In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength".
I stand in complete awe as I think of how this scripture has come to fruition today... I started out thinking it meant one thing to me and now in the course of a few hours, it has come to mean so much more especially the QUIET and TRUST part!!!

How do we say thank you?
This is how I ended the email to our anonymous giver:
We can never thank you enough for what God has called you to do for us!!! I know God will take your gift and multiply it for His kingdom. He is bringing home a little one halfway across the world to a family who will teach her about His Love every day of her life! I'm attaching her picture and know she is the REAL blessed one by the obedience of all God has called to this journey.

And this thank you goes to each and every person that has prayed, already given money, or a donation to our auction. There simply are just no words... only a face on the other side of the world waiting to come to a LOVE that comes only from our first LOVE... Jesus!!!

Standing in front of her orphanage in Fujian China. Praying her home to us!!!


Thankful Thursday: New Pic!

Isn't she lovely? Her little face is just precious and I can not wait to see her little smile, fill her with unconditional love, and be her mom forever!!!


I am so excited to sew her dresses to wear, choose headbands for her sweet buzzed hair, and find matching shoes for her outfits. I really want to make she and EK some coordinating outfits to wear while in China and even more when we get home.

It will be such a wonderful thing to watch the girls become the best of friends and most of all... sisters forever. God is so good and the Giver of all good and perfect gifts from above... I'm thinking this precious baby is definitely one of His most precious gifts of all!!!


Care Package for SJ!

Monday, March 22, 2010

We contacted Ann @ Redthread China and had her put together a care package for SJ. We sent her pictures which she put into a little photo album and a letter which she translated for us to the orphanage. We also chose a security blanket, candy for the nannies, and a book for her friends. The package is on it's way to SJ and we are waiting for new pics and an update. Praying we get those soon.

care package

We are also so excited to report out home study was approved today and our I800A application was mailed as well. Now we wait for our fingerprint appointment. A few more steps to our sweet SJ!!!


Regional Tournaments

Rosemary's team played in her regional tournament Saturday. We LOVED watching her two matches. She played 3 singles and did very well. Her middle school team won second in their region... so proud of her!!!











My Muffin Girl

Saturday I made some mini muffins and guess who ate 5 of them???




A Beautiful Friday

We were so blessed to meet our good friends, Rachel, McClain, Amy & Brandon @ McDonald's on Friday. It was the perfect day for an outside playdate. EK had never played on this playground so we ordered lunch, ate, and let the girls play. God is so good to bless us with such precious friends!!! Looking forward to the next time!