Saturday, August 16, 2014

Big News!!!

Worth the Wait (long post)

We have been staring and praying over a little girls picture since last October. This little girl made such an impression on my heart back in October I wanted to share our soon to be daughters (yes you heard that right, we are adding a new daughter also to our family)story or how we fell for this sweet face with dimples!

In October 2013, my hubby and I decided that we would host a child in our home for Christmas. They child would be an orphan, and would come stay in our home for 4-5 weeks. We also decided that we would like to host a child from China. We had had friends host children and it seemed to have been such a blessing so we thought we would also like to give a child that opportunity. When the Christmas hosting photo list came out we looked through read the descriptions of the children available and decided to inquire on two different little boys. Both were 4 yrs old. We chose a younger boy, because we knew that the high possibility of us moving forward with adoption after hosting was pretty high. Since we had just added a little girl to our family we felt called to a little boy and also the need for boy adoptions is very high. About 75% of kids available for adoption in China are boys. When I called and spoke with the coordinator she shared the childrens needs and we felt more equipt to handle one of the childrens needs over the other so we placed a hold on him for our family. I did look through the other children, but was so excited about our little guy and getting to work fundraising for the cost to bring him to the US to spend the holidays with our family.

Over the next week or two I would every now and then get on the photolisting to see our little man with our name below his picture and also see what other children were being hosted and where. There was a little girls face that I always kept going back too, it just drew me in. Her sweet closed mouth smile, peace sign held high, and those dimples. OOOOh how I loved those dimples.


I prayed she would have a family step up to host her. But as I prayed I heard clearly, "bring her too". WHAT? Oh my. I prayed a few more days and the weight on my heart was heavy. I knew I needed to approach my husband and tell him. Tell him that I heard clearly God telling us to bring her too. Tell him it would be another $3000 we would need to raise, bringing us to a $6000 total to host both kids. I prayed for the courage. I was nervous for sure of his reaction. So one night at bedtime (when there is no escaping) I told him my heart. He stared at me and said, " if you think that is what we are suppose to do then okay". I truly did not know how to respond. I am sure he asked some questions also, but those do not matter, lol. He said yes. Not just to me, but to Gods asking of me. He trusted what I heard and stood by me. So the next day I made the phone call to the agency p143.org (check them out friends) telling them we also wanted to bring C107 (that was the number she was listed with)to our home for hosting also. Well since China was a new hosting program for them, they were unsure of how hosting two would go and if it would be okay. They asked a lot of questions about our experience with children and many children and said they would need approval from higher up. I said okay. I told her I understood and respected whatever decision they came too, but God told me I was to bring her to the US also so I had to at least try. The agency told me they would get back to me with a response.

I waited a day or so and finally received and email stating they were going to allow us to host both children! Now not only was I excited, but our daughter was so excited! Over the next couple months we fundraised and saved and prepared to have two special house guests over the Christmas holiday. As we got closer to the arrival, we started getting emails from the agency saying there was some government changes going on in China and they may have to push the dates back. Okay, we were slightly saddened by the news the kids would not get to spend Christmas with us, but as long as they were coming we would still make it a wonderful. Then on December 2nd we were celebrating the adoption of our youngest daughter. Had a wonderful court ceremony in her town of birth and then a yummy dinner after! We got home late in the evening and I received an email stating that the hosting program from China would not be happening at all. We were very saddened. Not only for us, but for the kids. We did not know what we would do next. Over the next few days the agency told us what our options were: we could leave the money we had raised and wait until Summer hosting to see if China would reopen, we could donate to another charity, or they could roll it over into an adoption grant if we chose to start the adoption process. Hubby and I had some more talking to do. Much to my surprise when we talked he again took my breath away. "Well why don't we just adopt them then. You know if we brought them into our home for hosting and had to let them go, that we would fall in love and start the process anyways. There was no way you were bringing those kids here to let them return and not go get them". Boy does my hubby know my heart. I was slightly fearing the having to let them go back part. Even with all our foster parent experience of loving and letting go, it still hurts. So at this point I had had something weighing on my heart, but was praying daily about it that it would all just work out. Now with the husband saying this I had to share. I told him that if we were going to be adopting without hosting first I did not feel like the little boy we were to host was suppose to be our son. I do not know how to explain how I was feeling, but I was praying that during hosting I would develope that instant feeling. Without hosting I knew it would not be right and he was not meant to be our son. I did flip it a little on the husband, by saying, "but there is this other little boy that I do believe is our son. You have seen his photo many times and I think we should pray about bringing him home also". Well I had been a Advocate for a little guy for about 6mo about. I had shared him with hubby and told him all about him. I had talked late into the night with interested families, researched his special need and made contact with anybody you had met or knew him. I wanted this little man to find his family. He had a spark. Something special! Months went by though and families would sound so interested and then pass him by. My heart broke, but I continued to advocate and pray. I knew the province of this little boy and as soon as I found out our future daughters province and they were the same, I knew I could not leave him behind. So the next day I made the call to the agency and said we would like to adopt C107 (as we still knew her) and this other sweet boy known as "Phineas" on Reecesrainbow.org.

So the process started. They quickly located "Phineas" file and we were able to get it locked for our family, but then we got the call we did not expect. Your future daughter does not have a file. It is not ready yet. WHAT? How long will that take? The answer, we do not know could be 4mo, could be 6mo. The orphanage is saying they will do it by February. Okay, she is our daughter, we will wait for it. While we waited we did our homestudy and mounds, of paperwork and made the drive to Salem for our State Seal. We knew the past ladies by name and they had lots of questions about our journey. February came and I called asking about the file. The orphanage says maybe March, but probably April. UGH. More waiting. Praying that they were really doing it and seeing the urgency. See we already had our pre-approval to now adopt our son. We have been doing paperwork. It all has expiration dates on it. We could only wait so long as far as the paperwork goes. Our hearts longed for that file. April 2014 finally came to an end and I got word the orphanage had sent her file off the to next place to be reviewed. Her Province. From there we prayed it would take the shortest amount of time, a month to then head to its next stop the CCCWA. Towards the end of June we got word that it was at the CCCWA, they could see it logged into the computer. Now again we wait. Last stop our agency. It needed to get to our agency and then it could get to our hands. I have to say I was not very patient and towards the end of July I started calling once a week asking if they had received the file. Each time the answer was no and we will call you when we do, we promise. I struggles, I got obsessed. Then one night after Bible study I gave it all to HIM. I prayed that I would trust HIM and HIS timing. I was letting the burden go. Was going to live in the here and now and enjoy my days with my kids that were here. That was on a Wed. The next monday the kids and I, and our ukrainian house guest (another time,another post, lol) went for a drive down the gorge. We took her to see Multnomah Falls, the fish hatchery and then bonneville dam. It was hot and by the end of the day people were getting cranky and tired. We started loading the van back up to head home and my phone rang. I recognized that number right away. Upon answering my first words were, " tell me you have amazing news for me". I heard back, " we have the file, it came, we are emailing it to you now"! I seriously could have cried, I was chilled all over with excitement. Oh the joy. Now to make the long drive home Sigh.

We are so excited to now announce after reviewing her file, which we almost did not need to see as she is our daughter. We finally got PA (pre-approval) from China. We are now so ready for our son and daughter to be home. We are working so hard to raise the last bit of funds that we need. We have been blessed with photos of our daughter from a camp that she attended this summer and will treasure them always.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Bountiful "B"

So proud of my man who Bit the Bullet and went all out with our letter "B" date! Our date was Blessed Bountifully with B's!!! I am apologizing now as although I did take pictures, I pulled my camera out to use and oops I forgot to change the Battery. So it was my camera phone that had to document our night. It has Blurry issues, so I am sorry.

Sitter arrived and we started our night. I posted on facebook that we were headed on Letter "B" date and the guess's started pouring in. That in itself the hubby and I enjoyed, lol! The obvious Bowling and that was my guess too. I was asked to bring socks along. We drove and kept driving all the way downtown. Not a place hubby and I go often. We parked and arrived at our first destination. Mother's Bistro & Bar. Although Mother's starts with "M" we discounted that and just went with Bistro & Bar! It was a restaurant I had never been to before. It was very bright and trendy. We had reservations(FANCY) and so did not have to wait long. Food was fresh and homemade just like mama would make. It was delicious. I was stuffed by the end of the meal.
After dinner we started walking! I could tell hubby had a plan, he had his phone GPS going and hand in hand we walked. We headed towards our next "B" stop the Blue Star Memorial and Battleship Memorial (way to go hubs).
We kept on with our "B" and took a nice stroll on the Boardwalk! We walked and talked and people watched!
If you have ever walked the boardwalk there is always very interesting things going on down there, lol. So it is always a great stroll. We walked until we got to the hmmm can you guess? Burnside Bridge! We stopped and I used this moment for thank you for the wonderful date and smooch time!
Our date was still not over. Hubby out did himself on the "B" date. I told you is was Bountiful with "B". It was such a warm lovely night, so the walking around downtown Portland was wonderful. We headed back into the city and walked until we got to Blitz Sports Bar(do you recognize the name from our "A" date, lol). It was sort of a joke for me since if you go back and read our "A" date post you will understand. I messed up the night of our Art class and we ended up at Blitz (in Tigard) for a drink instead. So anyways, hubs found a Blitz downtown and thought it would be funny to go again, on the real "B" date! So we stopped and enjoyed a drink and some Big Buck (I did not win).
From there we walked some more to the last stop and one of my favorites. To Powell's Books!! I had honestly never been there. It was AMAZING! It was probably almost 10pm and the place was packed.
wall to wall books. Floors and Floors of books, Purple room, rose room, orange room. There was just so many it was unbelievable. We have fun and picked something out for everybody. We have a family of book lovers and always enjoy encouraging that love.
The date was just Beyond wonderful. Hubby did such a great job. It is not about outdoing each other, but like we stated doing things together, trying new things and creating fun memories together. I enjoyed my whole date with hubby and was in the moment and present the whole time! Loved it!

Has anybody else started this challenge? Would love to hear in the comments, I believe this could be an amazing trend for couples. We need to date our husbands and if it takes the alphabet to get us going again so be it! Here is to the Letter "C"!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

#TBT

#TBT= Throw Back Thursdays for those that have not caught on to the fad yet, lol. It took me a bit and I do not do it every Thursday! But why not I will post a couple pics in honor of #TBT today!


Monday, June 16, 2014

Applebee's Pancake Breakfast is Approaching Fast.

Our Applebee's Pancake Breakfast is approaching very quickly and we are needing to get tickets sold. Please if you are planning on attending purchase your tickets online via the link on the Event page or from myself or my mom in person or even via mailing a check!! Here is the link to the Event page https://www.facebook.com/events/731361390235873/?ref=br_tf and I will also post the flier. Print it, share it, pass it along. It takes a Village and we would like you to become a part of ours. Thank you for your support.

Dad's Day!

Yesterday was Father's Day! I did not write a blog as we were busy loving on, and spending time with the main man in our lives, my husband and my childrens Father. We woke up early and did all the animal chores and then I got right to work making a delicious breakfast, while the kids all started hand making fathers day cards. We let him sleep in until 9am when breakfast was done, cards were done and the kids could not hold back any longer from waking him up!
After fueling up, we did not give Dad the day off, we got right to work on some inside house projects that needed to get done since the weather was iffy. It was nice to work together on our Family photo wall (did not finish so no pictures yet). The kids love weekends when Dad is home and spends all kinds of time with them, and I love watching them get to make memories together. We can not wait to get our two newest family members home to share the love of a father also. We love you KC. Thank you for being a wonderful Dad, husband and provider. For working hard at your job everyday and for loving all the children that have come through our home no matter the length of time they stayed!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Under Fire

Wow is our Family taking some hits lately. They always say the Devil knows when you are on the right track and will try and knock you off, by throwing stumbling blocks your way. It is so much easier to walk through these trials though knowing that is what it is. It is from the Devil and we must continue down the path that God asked us to go. He asked and we said yes. It would be so easy to change our minds or look at the challenges we face and say maybe this just is not a good time in our lives.
The weekend was going great, hubby and I got a date night in and Sunday we woke motivated to work on the yard and house. I was getting kids ready to head out to the farm store when my oldest comes running up the stairs yelling, "there is water filling the dog area, it is everywhere". Not what you want to hear. I go running down the stairs to hear the toilet running and see water just pouring over the edge of the bowl. and the dogs standing, looking helpless in about 4 inches of standing water. OH MY GOODNESS! I quickly wade through water to the back of the toilet and shut the water off, and then start yelling instructions to the children to grab any and every towel we own in the house and start soaking water off the carpet. Yes it had gotten to the carpet. I let the dogs outside and start removing their crates and accessories from the house. I run upstairs to garage and get the push broom and started pushing water out kids used every towel they could find in house, including wash clothes and hand towels, we started resorting to dirty clothing. Hubby finally joined in and brought the shop vac. That helped a lot! We got all the standing water out and then started on cleaning of the carpets. Soaking up towel after towel of water and also shop vacing the area. We pulled the carpet up to shop vac the pad and also set up as many fans as we could borrow to start drying it. Oh so not fun at all. We will be assessing the damage over the next week or so.
As for what caused the blockage we have a belly in a pipe going to our septic. We knew it was there and have been so cautious about what we flush etc. Not sure what exactly happened. We did have to call and make an appt for Monday morning to get the blockage cleared. So no water or toilet usage until then, that was fun!

Went to softball and lost horribly, I did hit though and caught the last out, a popfly so that made my day. First game I had played in years. Honestly my goal of the games are to make it through without getting hurt, lol. Body just does not work the same anymore. It was fun though. Came home. Hubby goes to put animals away and I sit down to finish the 25 Kindergarten Graduation hats that I had committed to make. Let me tell ya lots of work when you are working with scissors, glue, and a stapler.

KC comes in and whisper,"something is wrong with one of the ducks". WHAT? "Its leg is all messed up deformed (exaggeration slightly, lol)". With nothing I can do at 9pm at night I decide I will deal with it tomorrow along with the septic issue. UGH really right now is what I was thinking. After dealing last week with our tragic accidental chicken death, I was not sure how the kids would handle losing a duck as well.
Next morning I give kids a heads up that one of the ducks is injured and that I would be taking her to the vet. I was not sure what was wrong or what they outcome would be, of course they were worried. I get them off to school and then head up to check out this leg. She was quacking away for her breakfast as usual, but did not come out of her house. I picked her up and set her on the ground and there she laid. Not wanting to put weight on her leg. GREAT! So I flip her over the best that I can, I do not see any obvious deformity, but she is favoring/protecting the leg and also I can feel warmth to the touch. I know something is wrong. Not knowing which duck this is Snowbelle or Daisy (i know bad duck mom, kids know), I get her settled in an area away from the other animals with food and water. My assumption a goat stepped/jumped on her leg. The goats get jumpy and hyper and ducks just are not fast creatures. The chickens seem to be pretty quick at getting out of the way! I head in the house set up a vet appt for after my septic appt., what a fun Monday this is turning out to be, lol. Long story short take the duck to vet, where we discover she has a broken toe. It is the middle toe and higher up where the toe and foot connect. For a duck this is significant for weight bearing etc. So I can not justify putting a duck down for a broken toe, so splinted and bandaged it is. I currently have another baby to take care of, lol. Although this one I can leave unsupervised most of the day in the front yard. She can not get her bandages wet, if you know ducks they love water and are soooooo dirty and messy. Seriously. they can be gross. She can not be around the other animals, besides her sister. So we are back to square one, duck on the lawn, staying the nights in the garage. Plus she has to go to the vet for splint changes every 3 to 4 days for 5 weeks and I am currently giving her meds by mouth. Oh my farm life. Crazy Lee Farm I tell ya. Here is a picture of her all bandaged up. It is sort of cute, poor thing. She semi hobble/drags herself around, but mainly sits in one spot unless I move her.

So although we had a rough go the last few days we did not let it get us down or stop our joy of living and enjoying life!! Yesterday was AMAZING!! Baby and I went to the post office and mailed off our dossier (all documents and papers) to our agency CCAI for final review. This is the last step before they send them to China! We also mailed a package of goodies and a photobook to a family that will be traveling soon to China. There son is living in the same foster facility as ours and they will deliver his gift to him!! How cool to know that in the next few months our son will see our pictures for the first time!
Then right after we mailed those off we headed over to the Elementary school for little man's Kindergarten Graduation. Where has the time gone? Way to fast do these kids grow. He was so excited for us all to be there. Aunt Sam and Cousin Deacon Little came, and Mimi too! They did a slideshow, and mini skits. He played Humpty Dumpty! So cute. Now he is ready to be a 1st grader he says.

So no matter the storms that are thrown our way we will continue to try and look at the good in our lives. To know that as troubles come, we can pray our way through them and know we are doing good. I am just on cloud nine that we are moving right along and will hang onto that excitement still while dealing with the other stuff. LOL! We are still needing to raise about $10,000 to be fully funded. Our most recent need is the remaining $800 for our CCCWA fee that we will need before our dossier can be sent to China. So I am thinking in the next couple of weeks. If you can help in anyway with donations you can donate here http://reecesrainbow.org/71271/sponsorlee all donations are tax deductible. We can also use prayers. Prayers that all are paperwork is correct. Prayers that the young girl we are also trying to adopt, that her file reaches our agency quickly (it is getting closer, at CCCWA now). Prayers that all our house and animal troubles will resolve. Thank you for supporting our family and becoming a part of our childrens story and village.