Thursday, April 28, 2011

Thankful Thursday

There is a calmness to a life lived in Gratitude, a quiet joy.
-- Ralph H. Blum

~This week there are NO words to describe my gratitude that we finally received an officer and our immigration approval!  Thank you for everyone who prayed for this so fervently!

Look Dariya, we did it!  We are coming to get you!!!!
~Thankful that Alayna and I were able to get to Topeka (hour away) and back and to the UPS store and have our dossier sent to Dariya's country.  (It left last night and will be there on Friday.)  We had a crazy fast morning....went to Bible study, made Aidan's presentation at school, drove to Topeka and back and to the UPS store and Alayna was happy go lucky and giggly the whole way, we even had a picnic in the back of the van before driving back.  *Update 4/29 OUR DOSSIER ARRIVED SAFELY IN DARIYA'S COUNTRY!!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you UPS!

~Thankful for our team that we are working with in EE that has already pulled Dariya's file and matched it up with our child petition so that as soon as our dossier is translated we can be submitted to the SDA.  They will then give us our court date to travel over (probably in June).

~Thankful for my sweet hubby who took my van out Tuesday night and filled the gas tank so I didn't have to stop on our quick trip to Topeka.

Alayna gave our dossier a final kiss before we said goodbye!
~Thankful for my family that have been so helpful in getting our paperwork done.  The kids have been so understanding when something has to be done asap!

~Very thankful for our stateside person, Nancy!  You are one in a million, we are blessed to have you checking our work and keeping us on track!

What are you thankful for this week?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

our Golden Ticket arrives!!!!

Just when I thought the day couldn't get any better, God decided to bless us with yet another HUGE blessing. 

Our officer faxed our approval to our stateside team!  The final piece to our dossier...the immigration APPROVAL~  Oh my goodness!! 

Are you kidding me?  After waiting so long to get an officer this gal did our approval in lightning speed.

My head is about to explode, my heart is bursting with joy!  I cried such tears of joy today knowing that we have done what we need to do to get our little girl home. 

We have had this last document notarized this evening and will drive it to Topeka tomorrow to have it apostilled (after Aidan's Komodo dragon presentation at school, of course we can't miss that) then Alayna and I will high tail it to UPS and send our whole dossier to Dariya's country.

The "paper pregnancy" has come to an end.  The chasing, the notarizing, the calling, the faxing, the praying, the redoing, the praying, the calling, the praying etc.   

It is SO worth it and I haven't even met her yet.  She lives in my heart...

Now we will wait to be submitted to the SDA (court) and wait for our invitation to go and accept Dariya's referral and bring her home.  Oh and finish up our May 14th fundraiser so we can bring her home!

If all goes well we should be traveling in June.  We thank you for your continued prayers and ask that you continue to lift this adoption up and start praying for Dariya's transition (as well as ours) to our family.

Hold on Dariya, Mommy & Daddy are coming soon!

We have an OFFICER!!!!! WOO HOOO

After waiting 48 days we finally have an officer with USCIS (immigration).  Thank you to all those who have continued to lift this adoption up for us.
Please pray that this lady processes our approval at lightening speed!  This is the last piece of paper we need to file our dossier with Dariya's country.  Once we file, they will translate it (2-3 weeks) and sent it to the SDA for a court date (which will be about a month after the submission).  We will then be given our court date and make travel arrangements.  Can you believe it?  ACK  so excited!!!!
This paper pregnancy is going super fast!

Now here is a pic and video of some fun.  Won't Dariya look cute rolling around with Alayna?

One of Aidan's birthday presents was this trampoline. (YES, we are SO thankful for Craigslist and the sweet family who all but gave it to us).   Their next door neighbor has down syndrome and when he and Jason got to talking about our adoption, he even offered to come help Jason set it up in our backyard.  Sweet, there are nice strangers still left in the world.
It is way bigger than we thought (ok really our yard is way smaller than we thought).  But, the kids love it all the same.  Alayna was rolling around over and over again on it so I went and grabbed the camera.
Yes, we are going to buy a safety net but, we couldn't resist letting them have some fun on it.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Aidan's birthday & Easter in pictures

What a fun, exhausting weekend we had.  Thursday night we dyed eggs with my sister and Grace and Rayne.  Friday, we celebrated Aidan's birthday by going to Science City, having a few friends over in the afternoon for cake and ice cream and fun.  We couldn't miss Good Friday service that evening.  On Saturday, Jason helped my sister move and the kids and I cleaned out stuff for our neighborhood garage sale.  On Sunday we celebrate our risen Savior.  Today I am pooped!  So here is a few of the 100 pictures I took of our weekend. Enjoy~
P.S.  Still no officer for immigration.  Praying this week is THE week!

Mess free egg dye, awesome!

Trying to decide to shake the egg or throw it on the floor!

His face says it all!  Happy birthday sweet boy!
More Star Wars stuff!!!

Avery, Aidan and Alayna playing the trashcan drums at Science City

Alayna LOVED the dinosaurs, and has been making a funny dinosaur face ever since.
I think you trained your Padawans too well, Master Jason!!!

Thanks everybody for making Aidan's day special

Easter morning, found baskets and eggs!

Easter Sunday 2011

Friday, April 22, 2011

Happy Birthday Aidan!!!

Eight years ago God blessed us with this sweet boy!  The moment I saw him I thought my heart would explode.  Funny thing is it just keeps expanding and my love for him continues to grow.

I so enjoy watching you grow and change. But, some days I really want to stop the clock just to enjoy the moment.  Like each night when you want to end the day with snuggles with me after we have read and had story and prayer time as a family. 

Your very tender heart is so amazing.  I know it embarrasses you sometimes but, as your mom I am very proud that you care so deeply.

You are a wonderful brother and your sister adores you.  Even if you don't want to be smothered in her hugs and kisses all the time.

You continue to soar in all you do and we are so proud of you.  I know God has great plans for you. I pray each day that you continue to stay on His path and that you fulfill His mission for your life.

Happy 8th birthday Aidan,  we love you so very much.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Thankful Thursday

When you are grateful fear disappears and abundance appears
~Anthony Robbins
~Celebrations big and BIGGER!  Aidan turns 8 tomorrow, bless him as we celebrate his life. 

~We are so grateful for Jesus Christ who died for our sins, yes, I sin every single day (I know you are shocked you thought I was perfect LOL), so thankful that he forgives me and I am a child of God.  We will celebrate Easter morning with the understanding that Jesus did rise from that grave and for that we are eternally thankful.

~A glimmer of hope with USCIS, we MIGHT be assigned an officer tomorrow (Good Friday, oh wouldn't that be awesome)?  Please continue to pray for this, we have been waiting in line since March 9th.

~Alayna is such a social butterfly.  She loves knowing people's names.  She goes around talking about all her school buddies all day long.  Eli, LC, "ordan" (Jordan), "Avvv" (Avery), "NNN" (Ian), and of course "Jssss" (Jace, even though he isn't in her class).  The other day at Aidan's soccer practice she went up to all the parents and said, (pointing at herself) "Alayna" then pointed to each of them as if to say "what's your name"  They all complied and told her their names.  LOL

Here I come to get you!
 ~Over 175 families are in process with Reece's Rainbow right now!  Many families are adopting more than one child.  WOO HOO for over 200 soon to be orphans no more!  Please pray for all these families and all the kids who don't have families yet!

What are you thankful for?  Share at least one!!!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Soccer...and a quick catch up

I feel like time is flying by and even though we are plenty busy with stuff going on I never take the time to sit down and blog about it.

Aidan's soccer season began at the end of March.  However, this is the only picture I got from the first game (it was too cold!)  I know bad mom, take a picture of the cute freezing toddler and totally miss the action of the game.  I seriously took this before the game started, put my camera up and snuggled with Alayna the whole game trying to keep her myself warm!
All his other games have fallen during Alayna's nap time so I haven't gotten to attend many. 

Sunday afternoon was a beautiful day and I was able to watch my boy play soccer.  Yesterday he had some great tackles and plays.  They won 4-2. 

We are still in a holding pattern on the adoption, waiting to be assigned an officer for USCIS (immigration), once we receive our immigration approval we can file our dossier (all our paperwork) with Dariya's country.  Then they will give us a date for court.  So for now with everything done we pray and wait for our approval to come quickly.

Alayna had a blast helping Jason mow the lawn.
Alayna is walking everywhere now.  Amazing how nearly a year ago she was getting up in the middle of the floor into standing by herself but it has taken her 11 months to get the skills (and mainly confidence) to walk all the time.  She walks across the backyard to our play set or playhouse like it is no big deal.  

We are spending everyday outside and enjoying all the beauty of nature (minus the kid's seasonal allergies).   

I think as the end of the school year gets closer more things pop into our Aidan's 8th birthday (seriously how did that happen?), Alayna's  (& Dariya's) transition to preschool (they will go in the fall but, we will do the paperwork in a couple weeks), our All for Dariya fundraiser on May 14th, and Jason's brother and sister in law coming to visit from England.

Hope you are enjoying spring and your calendar is packed full of fun too!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Thankful Thursday

Let us serve the world soulfully. The pay we will receive for our service will be in the currency of gratitude. God's gratitude.
~Sri Chinmoy

~A new deck - Neighbors who donated the wood, a hubby who worked hard to finish it in less than a week and for Craig & Justin spending their Saturday here to help Jason finish!  (Also thankful for Leslie and Courtney who shared their hubbies for the day with us!) It is awesome!

~Springtime weather - playing outside everyday, coffee on the new deck, riding bikes, just enjoying the beauty of creation.

~Sibling bond- Alayna is addicted to her brother!  She can't hug him enough (sometimes it is too much for him though =)! ) She is so happy to chase him everywhere.  But, at the end of the day watching them play in the bath, snuggle in his bed for story time and prayers is simply the best!

Alayna decided hmm this reading this is ok, I can do it myself
~The amazing support for our fundraiser on May 14th.  And the blessing of Kelly, Heather & Bruce who are making it happen. Stuff is streaming in for the silent auction and many people have told us they are golfing with us!  WOO HOO!

~Alayna was sight reading mommy, daddy, Aidan, and Alayna this week.

~Even though we don't have an immigration officer yet (keep praying) they have been very kind to answer my questions each time I call.  We have had our representative and senator contact them to see if we can get expedited to no avail!  But, I still know God is in the details (thanks Jan!) and his timing is perfect!

~Finally, very thankful for an hour and a half of quiet prayer time I enjoyed at our church, no kids, no phones, no computer...just a little acoustic guitar, my Bible and solitude.  Awesome!

What are you thankful for?  Please share, I love to read them.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Meet Constance's new family!!!! YEAH!!!!

Head over to Katie & Michael's blog and see their announcement about bringing Constance home!  WOO HOO!  I told you she was worth it!!!

The Gathered Nest: Introducing our daughter:

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Easter Eggstravaganza with Rachel Coleman

Everyone was entertained by Rachel's performance!

Today our fabulous DSG put on their annual Easter Eggstravaganza which featured food, games, prizes, fun  with our friends who sport an extra chromosome and Rachel Coleman and Hopkins from Signing Time.
Alayna was mesmerized by the size of Hopkins (he was about 7 ft tall).  It was a fabulously fun time. 

Aidan shows Alayna how to win the games and get the chocolate!

Didn't take her long to catch on to the games and chocolate fun.
LC was all giggles and smiles for Jason.
Alayna is trying to schmooze Courtney into some photography tips for her mother. 

HUGS for Cammie!

Addy is teaching and Alayna & LC are paying close attention...

 After the show we were able to visit and have lunch with Cammie, Addy & Jake and our buddies the Heigele family (better known as LC & Jace's mom and dad =0)!

What a fun day, thanks DSG, Cammie & family & Heigeles for spending a little extra time with us.   We are so blessed to be able to share this journey with such great people.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Thankful Thursday

There is always, always, always something to be thankful for.
-- Author Unknown

~So thankful for the way God places people in my path: new friends who are starting their adoption journey (and were approved by the agency so they should appear on the new commitments page any minute), a family who is contemplating adoption and wants to meet with me to learn more about ds so they can consider it, RR friends that are so uplifting!

~The group of people that gave up their Saturday to clean our church inside and out!

~The beautiful purple and pink blossoms on my plum tree, the green grass and the flowers that are beginning to poke their sleepy heads up through the ground.

~God continues to provide all we need and more.

~I can now officially say Alayna walks more than she crawls!  She loves to walk away and have us say, "where are you going?" she giggles, looks over her shoulder and keeps on walking...(ignore the goofy mommy sing song voice!)

What are you thankful for this week?  Come on share one OR two!!!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

God is SO good!

In case you needed another reason to truly believe in the amazing God we serve.. Katie and Michael got more than $2000 in donations yesterday!  Thank you to all who donated to them and thank you God for moving hearts so this family can save this sweet girl. 
Can't wait until they can announce who she is, so I can let you all in on the secret.  Trust me she is worth it!

And....I took a chance at posting our All for Dariya fundraiser on May 14th on KLOVE and what do you know?  They accepted it and it is on their website!  Woo Hoo!

Enjoy this amazing day that God created!

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Gathered Nest: She is worth it

I am re posting a new friend's blog post. 

Michael and Katie adopted a sweet little girl in 2009 from Ethiopia. Not long ago God led her to Reece's Rainbow and guess what?  They feel God tugging at them to adopt a child with down syndrome!  Not only that but a sweet girl who is 4 1/2 years old and scheduled immediately to be moved from the baby house to the institution.  They are still waiting on their taxes to be able to have the $2000 they need to commit and keep this child at the baby house!!!
Please help this family in anyway that you can:  please pray, hop over to their blog and donate via their chip in, and pass their blog on to others!
They have a giveaway going on now for a Daniel Miller pack of books.  Hurry and help them out.  I can't wait for this sweet girl to be coming home.  OOO and she is coming to the Midwest too!!!

Click on this link to go to their blog:  The Gathered Nest: She is worth it: