Saturday, December 25, 2010

First Conversation

Last night Yanmei and I had our first conversation. It was pretty cool. Yanmei was asking how old Mark's parents and siblings are and how old my parents and sister is. Also we talked about my grandfather and how the rest of Mark and my grandparents have died (I even told her that they are all in heaven with Jesus..I don't know if she understood that). I explained that Jiujiu is her Didi (little brother) which she didn't agree with (I don't know if she doesn't think of him as her brother yet or if she just didn't want to call him her Didi or if she thought Jiujiu would be upset if he heard that) I explained that even though they are both 12 her birthday is in June and his is in Sept so she is old then him, I know she undestood because she said "three", meaning three months.

It was pretty cool.

Beth

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Small update

We are having some good days but the bad days are so bad that they over shadow the good days.
I told my mom that it feels like all the good stuff is being drained out of me and the only thing left is stress.

Yesterday I took Yanmei to see an opthomologist to have her eyes examined. It went well. Her left eye is 20/20 and her right eye is 20/40. We are going to try to get her right eye to improve if possible before the Dr does surgery on Yanmei's left eye. Yanmei is resisting the idea of surgery right now. We are hoping that she changes her mind. We won't force her to have surgery but I think it will help her so much. Yanmei's opthomologist is Chinese and was able to explain everything without having to have an interpreter involved. She is a very nice woman and she told Yanmei that she could call her anytime.

Beth

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Silence

Things have been very difficult in our family for awhile. I am not sure what to put on our blog so I have been silent. I would like to ask for prayer, our family needs it. Thank you.

Beth

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The tortise and the hare....

Our attachment to our children seems to resemble "The Tortise and the Hare" Jiujiu is our hare and Yanmei is our tortise. Jiujiu was quick to open up but seems to be "sleeping on the side of the road." Yanmei was slow to start but she is slowly pulling ahead!

Beth

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Awww!


How cute is this photo? Brian can worm his way into any heart! Yanmei is warming up to Brian the most.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

School days...

Well,
after our first day of stress...um I mean school, Jiujiu seems to be doing well at school. Everyday this week has gone well. I'll be crossing my fingers that it continues! (And praying, which is much more effective!)

Beth

Friday, November 12, 2010

First Day of School....

We have two children who started school today and they had two different experiences. I'm going to end on a good note so here is Jiujiu's day. Due to fear and frustration, Jiujiu was not cooperative in school. I was called into the school, along with our friend who translates for us. I ended up staying in the classroom for over an hour. We will continue to explain to Jiujiu the importance of respect and obedience when in the school setting (at home too, obviously!).

Yanmei had a good day, from what I can tell. Her teacher said that she was upset at first and there were some tears but she started interacting with other students, she was doing her work and the ESL teacher said that they had some good moments together.

Please keep Jiujiu and Yanmei in your prayers on monday for their second day of school.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Please pray for us.

We are going through a very rough time right now. I want to respect the privacy of my child so I won't post any details. Please pray.

Beth

Saturday, October 30, 2010

my week and "firsts"!

Sorry I haven't posted in awhile. On Monday I missed our first step and fell down two steps onto a concrete pad. I landed on on my elbow and chipped the end of my elbow bone and ripped my tendon. I had surgery on Weds and will not be able to use my right arm for three weeks.

Tonight was a night of "firsts" for Jiujiu and Yanmei. Our church had a harvest party there was a moonbounce, games for candy prizes, balloon animals, hay ride and moonbounce obstacle course. They didn't do the games but everything else was a "first" for them! They really enjoyed the moonbounce and the moonbounce obstacle course!!

Beth

Saturday, October 23, 2010

A good day.

Today was a good day for our family. We went yard saleing, costume shopping and toy shopping. No major issues today and it ended well. Thank you Lord!

Beth

Saturday, October 16, 2010

I am having trouble...

...loving my new children. Their treatment of another child in our family is causing me great distress. Right now I am trying to fight how I feel. I do not want to love them. I am tired and frustrated and so discouraged. I am emotionally exhausted. Please pray for me.

Beth

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Jiujiu and Yanmei

Our children prefer to use their Chinese names for the moment. These names are also their middle names so even if they decide to keep using them it shouldn't be a problem. Adam Jiujiu Smith wants to be called Jiujiu (sounds like Joe Joe) Megan Yanmei Smith wants to be called Yanmei. (think "Jan May" but change the J to a Y) This is a normal situation for older adopted children. In fact, we planned for this when we decided to keep their chinese name as their middle name. They may use their first names at some point so we plan to be flexible.

Beth

Monday, October 4, 2010

I am NOT a fan...

...of Jet Lag! I know it will take awhile to get readjusted but I don't like waking at 4:00 am and needing a nap at 4:00 pm. I REALLY don't like having to wake 3 of my kids (and sometime all 5 of them) from their afternoon naps so they can eat dinner. They aren't very "morning people" and that extends to naps I guess.

Tonight I looked online for ways to ease jet lag, what a surprise...sunlight! Unfortunately, we don't have any...it is rainy and dreary. It's also supposed to be that way until Thursday. Yuck!

Let's see, exercise helps, but no running around outside. I don't really want to clean mud off of our floors. Double Yuck!

Other than jet lag things are still going well. We have our small issues but they can be dealt with.

Off to get some of my kids in bed...two have been alseep since 6:45.... :sigh:

Beth

Sunday, October 3, 2010

We're home!!!

It was a LONG flight and a slightly shorter drive home (actually much shorter it just SEEMED almost as long.)

We are dealing with "dog issues". They enjoy our cockapoo (she is our smallest dog) and Ellie (a medium sized dog) but our "puppy" Chip who is a BIG black lab throws them for a loop!

We are also having trouble finding food that they like. Right now we are stocking up on chinese food and letting them have comfort food. Which to them is SPICY!

We are hearing more and more English but still LOTS of Chinese. The language will take a long time, which we expected.

Megan is starting to respond to her American name but Adam isn't there yet.

Well, almost time to get my crew in bed.

Beth

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Last day!

Today starts our last day in China.  Early tomorrow morning (aprox 5:45 am) we will head to the airport.  We will spend a large portion of today packing our suitcases.  Even though Mark, Abby and I will be coming "home" I need to remember that Adam and Megan and leaving "home."  This will probably be a very emotional time for them, even though they may not show it. 
 
We are calling them Adam Jiujiu (JoJo) and Megan Yanmei.  They do not respond to their American names yet.  Adam is starting to allow affection (hugs and kisses) but Megan isn't there yet. 
 
Please pray for Abby she is having problems with jealousy and feeling "unloved" due to the time we are spending with Megan and Adam.
 
We went to the local zoo two days ago and had a good time, Adam wasn't feeling well when we arrived but he perked up after a bit.  Getting home was a bit of an adventure.  We took a taxi to the zoo.  When we were ready to leave we waited for about 30 minutes for a taxi.  Noone wanted to stop for us...I was beginning to feel like we had a sign on our foreheads (Don't stop for us!)  Finally a taxi stopped, to let someone out.  We grabbed it and started back to our hotel.  At a light the engine died but the driver was able to start it up again.  About 15 minutes into the ride the tire blew!  The driver told us to get out and we had to run across a lane of traffic to get to the curb.  Then we started all over again trying to find anoth cab...with our forehead signs firmly in place!  About 10 minues later a cab pulled over, to let someone out....we grabbed it!  (Sound familiar?)  Thankfully the rain started AFTER we were in the taxi.  There were no other incidents on our way back to the hotel...
 
I hope our story lifted your day a little!
 
Beth

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Medical visit

All in all the medical visit went well.  We were there for about 3 hours.  Mostly sitting and waiting.  They had to go to three different rooms, one for ENT (ears,  nose, throat), Height and weight and an exam.  Adam and Megan got their TB test and we get it checked in two days.  Adam balked at the TB test but we did get it done.  Now, we go back tomorrow morning for shots.  We don't know how many they will need but I can alread envison Adam shaking his head  saying, "No no no!" at me again!
 
Beth

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Interesting day!

Well, today was very "interesting"! We bought Adam a chess set, he loves chess but neither of us play chess. It looks like we're going to have to rely on my dad to be Adam's chess partner! Well, when we showed him the set he imediately started putting the pieces on the board. Mark ran out to get some snacks for lunch so Adam picked me to play chess with him! You haven't experienced confusing until your son, who is speaking Chinese, trys to explain Chess to you! I used the phrase "Bu Dong" which means "don't understand" more times in five minutes than I ever thought I would! He ended up telling me in Chinese while moving most of my pieces for me. When one of the pieces would capture another piece he would make a "chomping" sound like one piece ate another one! So cute!

We also found Toy Story 2 and 3 DVDs for less than $2 each. last night Adam and Abby watched it on the computer and Adam got so excited at parts that he was jumping up and down in his chair.

Megan is doing well. She is much more shy than Adam. We brought a beach ball and when we play with it we end up doing a "hotel volleyball game" that gets everyone laughing. I love seeing Megan laugh!

Right now we're mainly still calling Adam and Megan by their Chinese names but we are starting to transition to using calling them Adam JiuJiu and Megan YanMei to get them used to their American names.

We apprieciate your prayers.

Beth

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Second day

Well, we are halfway through our second day with Megan and Adam.  They are doing well.  We went swimming with them and Megan really enjoyed it.  unfortunately, I didn't realize that I have to treat them like an infant with things they haven't experienced before, Megan went underwater and I had to pull her up.  She's ok, she was scared but was able to still have fun after a little while.  They slept well last night, they both got ready for bed by themsleves and did so willingly.  Adam loves his Nintendo DS, we will put some time limits on it when we get home but for now we're pretty much letting him play it whenever.
 
Adam really loves Coke and Abby is starting to really like it as well.  Abby has been great with them.  She hasn't been focused on herself at all, except for last night when she was REALLY hungry!  I've been so proud of her.  Abby and Megan seem to both enjoy playing games together.  We brought several travel games and they love them.  They really liked Connect 4.
 
I just got back from a search to find some more shorts for them, but no luck.  Everyone else is down playing ping pong, which Adam has wanted to do since yesterday.
 
Please keep us all in your prayers.
 
Beth

Our new children!

Well, we have our new children!  Adam and Megan seem to be settling in well but there have been some struggles.  Please continue to pray for them, especially Megan.  Here's a photo from earlier today.  Pictures seem to be loading very slowly so I may not be posting many photos.
 
beth

Saturday, September 18, 2010

40 minutes!

We will be leaving in about 40 minutes to meet Megan and Adam.  We will meet them about 10:00.  Please keep us in your prayers!!  (I can't read any comments on our blog until we get home but I'd love to have tons of comments to read at home.)
 
Beth

Friday, September 17, 2010

Were're here!

The following was typed out when we were flying.
 
 
We are flying and are close to the North Pole.  We are 5 hours into our 13 hour flight.  After trying to sleep I felt
led to type out my feelings.  I felt convicted that I had not fully realized God's hand in our adoptions.  I
spent a few minutes praying and thanking God for the wonderous things He has done for us.  God led us to perserve
through the "mountains" of paperwork.  He provided for our financial needs throughout this adoption, when we
needed funds they were there- whether through a grant, a gift or a loan.  Praise the Lord for His faithfulness!
He "allowed" our journey to take longer than predicted, so that we would have the blessing of adopting Megan and
Adam together, as brother and sister!  Two children who have been best friends for years will be siblings in three
days!  Every step of this journey had been mapped out by our Lord before our children had been born, before Mark
and I were born.  Praise the Lord for His wisdom!!
There have been times that I have doubted that adoption is the right path for our family.  Thank you Lord that I
did not allow that doubt to sway me from your path.  I have felt fear of the unknown and there have been, and
continue to be, many unknowns.  Even this morning, when I was preparing to leave, I felt fear come over me. 
Thankfully the Lord reminded me that Satan would love to paralyze me with fear, if it will keep me from God's plan.
I rebuked the devil, loudly enough that Mark asked if I was ok! That fear left and I praised the Lord for his
faithfulness to His Children. 
We will land in Beijing in eight hours so I should finish up so I can sleep. 
Please continue to keep us in your prayers so that we can do our Father's will.

 
We have been in China for three days.  Beijing was quite an experience.  It rained almost the whole time were were there.  We toured for a whole day and we saw The Great Wall of China, the Olympic Village, a Cloisonné factory and Tiananmen Sq. 
We will be meeting Adam and Megan tomorrow around 10:00, which is Saturday night at 10:00 am for our East Coast friends and family.  I will try to post photos as soon as I can.  We have been told that Adam is very talkative (sounds like Brian) and Megan is quiet and shy with new people (which sounds like Abby and Emily)  I think they will fit right in! Please continue to pray for their transition. 
Beth

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Ready to leave....

We will be leaving our house tomorrow at 6:00 am. We will be flying out of Newark, NJ around 12:10. Please keep us in your prayers and we will post our next post from China!!!


Beth

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Journey

This was written by my mother and sent to me a few days ago.


"Early in November 2008, the Smith family traveled to BFCN on a Sunday morning, little knowing the trip would end up taking them to the other side of the world… that part of the trip begins on Wednesday, September 15, 2010.

Fifty Children for Fifty Churches – how many, if any, thought
that our church would pray for the first child - Adam – and
he would actually become a part of the BFCN family??

As Abigail sat in the worship service that morning, she listened and looked at the five children we were asked to pray for. Adam was highlighted on this first Sunday and the Father of All lit a fire in Abby’s heart for the little boy who looked “so sad” and needed to be adopted by her family. After church, Abby came to me, her grandmother, and said, “We need to adopt Adam” as she pointed to his picture in the bulletin insert. Grandma became the first naysayer: “Maybe you can ‘adopt’ a Compassion Child.” But Abby, thankfully, already had a specific “compassion child” in her heart and she persisted in her loving pursuit of bringing Adam into the family.

At Abby’s determined requests, her parents began to pray and her younger sister and brother began to pray, as well. Her parents felt led by the Lord to call the adoption agency that very same week. And the process began. Abby’s grandparents began to pray; others joined in the chorus. Undoubtedly all weren’t singing the same tune or requesting the same direction from the Father but He, nonetheless, was working and orchestrating the song.

God had actually begun working on this grandma’s heart several weeks earlier. The Christian radio station I listen to each morning began their several day Compassion International drive for sponsors of needy children. I resisted, even purposefully didn’t turn on the radio for several days, so that I wouldn’t hear the “song.” When I went to the next Beth Moore Bible study (which was so very good, by the way), even Beth Moore took time to talk about the importance of helping those in need, especially the children. I actually remember saying in my mind, “Enough already!” As the Lord continued His work, a friend told me of her friend’s loss of his mother at an early age when he (Angel) then became an orphan. His plight prompted compassion and another needy Angel (from Nicaragua) became our own compassion child. Grudgingly at the start, but now a joy to our heart! God is good!

After Adam became an “issue,” the Lord continued His work in my heart. On Wednesday evenings as I would drive home after watching Brian while his sisters and parents were at Awana, I listened to Dennis Rainey’s Family Life Today radio program. November must have been “National Adoption Month” because every program for several weeks shared very stirring, thought provoking, heart-plucking stories about adoption. I KNEW God was working and I wasn’t too happy about it at the time – but I still listened! “OK, I’m ‘getting it’” was often swirling around in my mind and I was finally able to lay my concerns at His feet and “get on board” the adoption train.
It wasn’t too much longer until we had “adopted” Adam in our hearts and he became our grandchild. We were anxious for the process to “get a move on it” but we knew God had a plan. Well, God continued the stretching process and, once again, His plan was different than what we had in mind. When Beth called me one day in December (2009) to tell me they were thinking about adopting a girl from China, the first words that came to my mind (but thankfully not out of my mouth) were, “What are you thinking about???” What I said, however, was, “We’ll be praying for you.” And pray we did. Thankfully, this time around we were a bit more in tune with the Director!

Beth and I had a discussion about the process/decisions and she had some really good insights and observations. She thinks that God may have elongated the process of adopting Adam so they would have the opportunity to see Megan in group pictures taken by other adoptive families. Both Mark and Beth felt drawn to Megan and were in agreement after praying about it. Beth believed that if it wasn’t God’s plan for them to adopt Megan, He could very well stop the process with a “no” anywhere along the significant checks and balances process. Months after starting the process to adopt Megan, they found out that Megan was a very good friend of Adam’s. They also found out that Adam had been nervous about being adopted, but when he found out Megan was being adopted by the same family, he was encouraged.

Mark and Beth reached out in faith and only God knows the eternal extent of that reach. I am blessed, humbled and encouraged by their open hearts and willingness. They have taken large steps in this journey and faced many hurdles…I believe their God is big enough to see them through the trip to the glorious end/beginning. And hopefully our newest grandchildren – Adam and Megan -- will be with us in our forever and ever Home as children of the best Father, the King of Kings!!"

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Adam turns 12!!!


Adam turned 12 today or yesterday, depending on which country you are in! We got photos of the birthday cake we sent to him. Here's a photo of him handing out the cake to some of the other children.

Friday, September 3, 2010

In country travel....

Our adoption agency just estimated $6,000-$7,000 for our in country travel. We don't have that amount. I need to remember that God will provide for us. We need to wait for Him. We can't do this on our own.

Beth

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

14 days!!!

We will be heading to China in 14 days. Please continue to pray for Emily as this is becoming more "real" everyday.

We sent a care package to Adam for his birthday! Adam turns 12 on Sept 9th. This will be his last birthday in China and with his friends from the orphanage, except Megan of course!

Beth

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Travel dates!!!

We have a confirmed consulate date of Sept 28th. We will probably arrive in China on Sept 16 and head home on Sept 30 or Oct 1. We will get our flight info soon. Yay!!! We're coming Adam and Megan!!!

We still need to raise the money for our in country travel (hotels, flights, etc) and we don't know how much that will be but we are estimating between $7-10K. Please keep that in your prayers and we would appreciate any help that anyone can give.

Beth

You know your husband is...

...a great dad when he plays London Bridge in the front yard and even lets himself get "caught"! Oh yeah, and the neighbor was watching!!!

Beth

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Let's see what happens with two photos!

Ok, let's try this one!
 
Beth

Test with photo!

Ok, I'm trying to see if I can send a blog post from my email account with a photo....here goes!
 


Let's see what happens!
 
Beth

Friday, August 13, 2010

TRAVEL APPROVAL!!!!!!!

We have our Travel Approval!!! We should find out our exact travel dates next week, hopefully on Tues or Weds!!!! It looks like we might be in China sometime in late Sept......


Beth

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Talking with Adam and Megan...

It turns out it was phone call, not a Skype video call. It was WONDERFUL to hear their voices. They kept asking when we were coming for them. We were told that they were "fighting" over the phone since it wasn't a speakerphone. We had a translator but we did hear them speaking some English. I asked what their favorite colors were and we heard Megan say, "BLUE"! So sweet! It was hard to distinguish which child was talking over the computer speaker.
Abby wasn't shy about talking but Emily didn't talk to them, she was very shy. Brian was having too much fun making friends with the translator's wife! (If you know Brian, that is just "typical Brian".)

I did use some of my Chinese phrases to talk to Megan and Adam and I think it went over well. I tried them out on the translator while we were waiting to make the call and he said that I did well.

What a wonderful end to the day!

Beth

Video call!

We get to Skype with Megan and Adam tonight! At 9:00 pm our time it will be 9:00 am tomorrow morning for Adam and Megan. Please keep us in your prayers and please pray especially for Adam and Megan. We are excited and a bit nervous, I am sure they will be nervous and scared as well.

Beth

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Prayer requests

I thought I'd update everyone on our prayer requests.

Our number 1 prayer request is for Megan and Adam to have a peace about the adoption. They are preparing to leave their country, their comfort food, their friends, their caregivers, their language, their culture and everything they know. They will travel with people who don't look like them, talk like them or do things like them. They are being asked to learn to like new foods, learn a new language and learn to live in an entirely different culture. They are probably terrified and they only have each other to rely on. They don't truly understand what a family is or why they need a family. We have been sending letters to Megan and Adam but I know that is not enough to reassure them. We just emailed our adoption agency to ask if we can do a video call with Megan and Adam. We don't know if it will be approved (the orphanage director has to approve it) but we think that this will hopefully ease some of the fear that Adam and Megan must be experiencing.

Our second prayer request is for Emily and Brian. They will be staying at home with my (Beth) parents. Emily is already getting upset about our travel. She has been crying and upset. Brian doesn't seem bothered yet, but he is 4 and it probably isn't "real" to him yet. Emily is such a sensitive child that I know this is going to be very hard on her.

Our third prayer request is for the funds to travel. I really don't know how much it will cost but I am sure it is ALOT!

Our fourth prayer request is for our Travel Approval. We are still waiting for it. We have no idea when it will arrive but nothing can be done until it arrives. Please pray for it's quick arrival.

I think that's all for now. Thank you for your continued prayer support.


Beth

Monday, July 26, 2010

I made up a Chinese song!

Hmmm, I was playing around with some of the chinese phrases I know (I've learned about 50) and I made up two songs (to the tune of "Go to Sleep, go to sleep...") One is a "lullaby" and one is a "I love you" song. Pretty cool!

We are still waiting for our Travel Approval, after that we are pretty much good to go and wait to get put with a travel group! Please pray for a quick Travel Approval.

Thanks.

Beth

Sunday, July 11, 2010

A letter! A Letter!!!


We got a letter from Megan!! The woman who sent Megan's birthday cake to her forwarded a letter from Megan. She wrote it on her birthday and it was so sweet! She wished Mark a happy birthday and wished that she had a gift for him. She also wished Abby happy birthday and sent a lovely message to her. She told me that she hopes to be with me on my next birthday (Sept 21). She hopes to tell me "I love you" on my birthday. She thanked us for the cake and books we sent to her.

Her letter was sweet and kind and caring. Our whole family is thankful for this brief contact with Megan. Here is a photo of the letter.

Beth

Friday, July 9, 2010

The mysterious Article 5!!

Our Article 5 has been issued from China....but I don't really know what that means. The Article 5 is one more step in the process and this means that our Travel Approval could be issued within a few weeks! After that, we could be traveling within a month!!! Yes, I know everyone is now checking their callendars for possible dates...it could be sometime in August or we could still be looking at Sept.

Exciting news!!!

We continue to pray that God will provide the finances to travel to China. We do not know where it will come from but we are trying to trust. Our "humanness" wants to worry...



Have a great weekend everyone!!

Beth

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

My "baby" is four!

Today is Brian's birthday and he is now FOUR!! Here are some things about Brian..... Our little man is a sweet loving little guy. He is funny and silly. He gets SO excited when Daddy gets home! Brian loves sterotypical "boy things": cars, tools, sports, and annoying his sisters! :smile:

Brian is so excited to add a brother and another sister to our family...he loves to look at their photos and tell people who they are.

Lord, thank you for giving Brian to us, he is such a wonderful son and brother.

Beth

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Momma to pre-teens soon!

Ok, it totally blows me away that I will be a mom to TWO pre-teens soon! Probably before my next birthday and, no, I'm not sharing my age....

Wow, I'm thinking of all the great things we will do with Adam and Megan....some things are basic-"everyday" type stuff, reading to them, cooking with them (I plan on my sons being able to cook basic stuff- more than just "boil water"!), playing in the back yard, taking them to the park, swimming with them. Also, I can't wait to plan their first birthday parties with our family. I can't wait to take them on family vacations! I can't wait to take them to the zoo! I can't wait to take pictures of them! I can't wait to give them hugs! Getting to put up our Christmas tree this year with Megan and Adam...wow! Picking out their Christmas stockings! To tell them "I am your mom" (I even learned it in Chinese!!)

There is one thing I'm NOT looking forward to...teaching them algebra!!! I homeschool and math and I have never "gotten along" so this should be interesting....

Oh yeah, I put new photos of Megan and Adam on the "sidebar" of our blog...check them out!

Have a great night all...

Beth

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

We have our I800!!!

We have our I800s yesterday. This is the approval from the US govto allow us to bring Megan and Adam to America! We will be mailing these documents, and about 5-6 other documents, to our adoption agency today. I believe this is almost the last paperwork we need to send to China. We have to submit visas for Mark, Abby and myself so we can travel to China but that is not until closer to the travel dates. We have paperwork that we will be bringing to China. I belive this is all the paperwork until we arrive in China. We will have a lot of paperwork to do in China to finalize the adoptions.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Megan's birthday party!!




Here are a couple of pictures of Megan's birthday party. It is traditional for birthday cakes to have fruit as decorations...much healthier than our Icing flowers!! I am so glad that Megan looks happy at her party.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Megan's birthday...in China....

Since China is 12 hours ahead of us, right now it is 9:00 am on June 10th, which is Megan's birthday. We ordered a birthday cake to be delivered to her for her birthday. I hope she gets it on her birthday. Tomorrow our family will celebrate Megan's birthday here. Megan was born 12 years ago. Somewhere there may be a Chinese woman and man who are missing their little girl. I know there is a American family who is missing her. This birthday is different for Megan, this year she knows she will be adopted and she will be adopted with one of her good friends. I pray that this is a comforting thought for her. Please join me in praying for Megan, that she will have a good birthday and that she will be comforted if she is anxious about her adoption.

If we get a photo of her with her birthday cake we will post it.

Beth

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Babies in a nest!


We have mockingbird babies in a bush next to our fence. They were still in their eggs a couple of days ago and I think they hatched today. If you look to the right of the photo you will see one egg that hasn't hatched yet, it is brown and blue speckled. We have to be cautious because mockingbirds are not known for their gentleness!

We have no new adoption news for the moment. Still waiting....

UPDATE: The mockingbird babies are gone. It appears an animal got to them last night. :-(

Beth

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The many faces of Brian!!









My girls are spending the day with their grandpa so I'm home with just my "little man" today. I thought I'd take a few photos of Brian's cute face. Yes, I do know the definition of "few", it's just so hard to stop taking pictures of Brian. (He's not mad in the next to last photo, he's just hamming for the camera!) He's a cutie! I also thought I'd throw in a photo of his cute little feet.

Friday, May 28, 2010

What a blessing!

Our adotion agency asked Megan and Adam's orphanange if the second orphanage donation could be waived for us. Each adopting family donates $5000 to the orphanage for each adoption so we would have to donate $10,000. The orphanage just told our agency that they will waive the second orphanage donation! Yay! What a relief.

Mark and I talked about it and we do plan on sending the orphanage a donation when Mark's adoption benefits from his job come through...which is unfortunately not until after the adoption is finalized.

Praise the Lord for this exciting blessing!!

Beth

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Yay!!! New photos of Adam and Megan




Here are our new photos of Adam and Megan. I am so excited to see these photos!!!


Beth

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Photos coming soon!


We have found out from our adoption agency that we will be getting updated photos of Adam and Megan sometime next week. I will post them as soon as I get them. I can't wait to see new photos of our son and daughter. The most recent photos we have are from last August, when a family visited the orphanage with their daughter who had been adopted 11 or 12 years ago. This is a photo from that visit. Megan is in front in the white shirt with purple stars and Adam is standing in the back with the white shirt.

Beth

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Drawing results

The winner of our ladybug watch/necklace drawing is Jennifer! Congrats!!! I will be starting a new drawing in the next day or two. Keep tuned!

Beth

Monday, May 17, 2010

Strawberries!


Our first produce from our garden is the strawberries that we planted last year. We've gotten 4-6 berries a day for the past week but today I filled one bowl to overflowing! (Keep in mind this is the kiddie-size bowl...) I split them between two bowls for Emily to carry inside. Here's a photo.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Don't miss out....


There is less than a week for the ladybug watch/necklace drawing. You don't want to miss out. They are so lovely!! Right now there is only one person entered in the drawing...let's get a few more names in the hat! Our son, Brian, will be drawing the name of the winner, let's give him a challenge.

Here's a picture of the watch/necklaces...to refresh your memory...

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Today is Mother's Day

Today is Mother's Day, I celebrated with Abby, Emily, Brian and Mark (husband). But right now I know that I have two other children who do not yet know me, who have read a letter from me and seen a picture of me but they do not know me and they will probably be nervous and scared when they meet me. I am anxiously awaiting the day that I will meet them and that they will be a part of our family, officially. I need to remember that the day that is so joyful for me will be scary for my children.

Megan and Adam, I am waiting to become your mother. I love you already and I pray for you. Next Mother's Day I will have five children to hug and kiss. Stay safe and healthy and I pray that God sends a hug from me to you today.

Beth

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Watch/necklace drawing!


We are trying to raise money for our adoption so we plan on doing a drawing every other week with some GREAT prizes! For the first one I have a set of three ladybug watch/necklaces. The ones in the photo are the actual prizes. They each have a organdy ribbon. One is silver, one is white with black spots and one is black with white spots. Perfect for a gift, they are all lovely. The winner will receive all three. A donation of $10 will enter you into the drawing and you will get additional entries for $5. So, if you donate $20 you will get three entries. I will print out the entries and have one of my kids pick the winner on May 18th. I will then start another drawing on May 19th. I have alot of new items that I will be using for drawing prizes, mostly books. You can donate through our chip-in on the right or email me beth_c_smith at hotmail.com (change the "at") and I will email you our address if you'd prefer to enter "off line".

Have a great day!

Beth

If I could send a letter.

The Saturday before Mother's Day is sometimes celebrated in the adoption community as "Birthmother's Day". We may never know who Adam and Megan's birthmothers are. Current laws in China may keep us from ever knowing. If, one day, we are blessed to know their birthparents I would like to send them a letter with my thoughts before we adopt these children. I would like to thank them for carrying them to term and for the care they gave before they allowed them to be found. I would like to thank them for placing them where they would be found quickly. I would like to tell them what their child is like now. I would like to share that we hope to encourage the children to know about their birth culture.

I may not be able to send these letters. I will pray for the families who cannot share the lives of these children. I will pray that they will hear about Jesus and that one day we will be able to meet them in heaven.

Beth

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Prayer requests

Our family has submitted our application for the I800, which is a document from our government that gives us permission to bring Adam and Megan home to the US. Our agency has told us that we might be traveling by the end of summer. We might get a closer estimate after we have our I800 approval. Obviously, I don't want to wait that long...obviously I will wait if I have to. :smile: Megan's birthday is June
10th, I don't want her to have to spend one more birthday without a family. The later travel may be a blessing though. During the summer is when airline fees spike, if we can book lower airline flights that would be great!

Also, our agency is requesting that Megan's orphanage donation be waived...this is a $5,000 fee that we have to pay for each of the children. That would be a big help if we didn't have to pay both orphanage donations.

Thanks for keeping us in your prayers.

Beth

Monday, April 19, 2010

It's here!!!!



I am so excited I can hardly stand it. We just got the call that we have Megan's Letter Of Acceptance. This is the document that officially matches Megan with our family. I can also post a photo of Megan now. ::Drum roll:: This is our daughter-to-be!

We can now send a care package for both Adam and Megan to let them know that they will be adopted together and will be brother and sister!!!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Jiaozi!





I finally made something I've been wanting to make...Jiaozi! They are also called Dumplings or potstickers. It took quite a while. I took pictures of the process! Abby, Mark and I loved them but Emily didn't and Brian didn't even try them.

There is a picture of the filling, one of the jiaozi filled, then waiting to be cooked and the final product! I haven't posted several photos together and now the photos are out of order...but I'm sure you can figure it out.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Prayers for TB tests!

There is something that is causing stress for adoptive parents recently. Our international kids need to have a TB test before they are issued a visa to travel to the US with their new parents. There are some kids who have not been allowed to travel home with their families. I know of at least one little girl who had to stay in China while her parents traveled home. After her parents advocated for her she was able to join them in America after several weeks. Obviously this is hard on the children and their parents. Some families have been faced with the possiblity of staying in China for several weeks with their newly adopted child and paying extra money for food, hotels, etc.

We have requested that Adam and Megan's orphanage get a TB test done on them before we travel so if some treatment is needed that it can be started before we travel so that there is no delay in bringing our new children home. Our agency has passed the request on to the orphanage but they told us that they don't think a TB test will be done. Obviously I am praying that they don't have TB and that this is a moot point while we are in China but I also would like to have as much information as possible before we travel. I guess I don't know what I am asking for. Please pray for Adam and Megan's health and safety.

When we have Megan's LOA (Letter of Acceptance) we can post her picture. I can't wait to share a photo of our beautiful girl!

I can't wait to bring them home! They need be a part of a loving family soon. I feel so blessed that we were chosen to be that family.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

APPROVAL!!!

We have gotten approval from China to adopt two children at once!! Yay!!! Now we have more paperwork to complete and we will be waiting for the Letter Of Acceptance (LOA) for Megan. It might be here within a month, or we might have to wait a little longer for that. Once we get Megan's LOA we will be sending a care package that is designated for both Adam and Megan and that is when the orphanage will sit them down together and tell them that they will be adopted into the same family. Friends will become brother and sister!

Please rejoice with us!!!!

Beth

Monday, March 29, 2010

Praise the Lord!!!!

Thank you to everyone who prayed for us. Our contact at our adoption agency called today and told us that she has Megan's referral information (basically all medical and social information that they have about the child) for us to review. China wants us to review the referral before they approve us to adopt Megan and Adam. It turns out that there are two children at the orphange who have similar names so that is why it took so long for them to sort it out.

We got some information on Megan and photos. Oh yeah....she's not 12! She is 11 but she will be turning 12 soon.

So, we will be filling out forms to adopt Megan in the next few days. Please pray that all of the "adoption steps" happen at lightening speed! I can't stand waiting for red tape to bring these sweet children home. They need to be in a family, they've waited too long already.

Oh yeah, there is the small matter of money for adoption fees, travel costs, etc. I know God knows where all of that is coming from...I'd just love it for Him to let us know too!


Beth

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Request for prayers

Our family has not gotten a response to our request that we be allowed to adopt two children at once. We have been waiting 3-4 weeks and we cannot submit paperwork for Adam until we get the Yes or No. I am asking that everyone pray that we will get a response soon. (As a frame of reference another family's agency made the same request on a Monday and got the answer on Friday).

We need a covering of prayer over this situation. Please pray for this and ask others to pray for this as well. Feel free to post about this prayer request on any blogs you might be have and feel free to post a link to us. Thank you everyone.

Beth

Monday, March 22, 2010

Info about Adam!

We are allowed to send the orphange one list of questions about Adam. We sent the questions at the beginning of last week and we got the answers back either Thurs or Friday. We asked 15 questions. I won't share all of the info but we did find out that Adam is close friends with Megan. This is something that Mark and I had worried about, since they are living in the same orphange they could either be really close or no like each other at all. It is nice to know that they are friends. Another answer that we got was that Adam's favorite color is blue. His favorite food is "snacks"! Sounds like most kids I know! We are so excited to learn some things about our son!

Beth

Saturday, March 20, 2010

6 year olds + slumber party = ????

A worn out mom! Emily's birthday is coming up at the end of April and since we weren't sure when we would be traveling we decided to plan her party early. Emily had her first slumber birthday party. Wow. Emily invited five friends who were here for her Tea party and four friends were able to sleep over. No one slept until after 9:30 and then they were up by 6:30. Breakfast for 4 extra kids...oh my! I am feeling blessed by my THREE (not seven) children. I will sleep well tonight.

Oh yeah, I'm starting our taxes tonight. Am I a glutton for punishment or what?

Beth

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Hoping for a letter!

When we sent Adam his care package we included a stamped envelope with our address. We are hoping that he will write a letter to us. We let him know about the envelope and told him that he can send us a letter or drawing if he'd like. He probably received the package by March 1st so I'm keeping my eyes open for a letter. I know of several families who received letters from their children before the adoption. I am hoping that we will also get a letter.

The weather has been nice enough that I could let the kids play outside yesterday and today. Emily and I spent some of that time playing "fetch" with our BIG puppy. He's a black Lab and LOVES tennis balls! He's worn out from all the running. Gotta love a tired puppy!

Have a great day everyone!

Beth

Friday, March 5, 2010

Testing..1..2..3

Blogspot is blocked in China so I am testing to see if I can post to the blog from my email.
 
I am sending this from my email and it should be posted on the blog....Here's hoping!



Hotmail: Trusted email with Microsoft's powerful SPAM protection. Sign up now.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Adam's care package....


We sent a care package to Adam and he should get it this week. The lady who we ordered the care package from sent us a picture of what was sent to Adam. I am including the picture so you can see what we sent. We sent him a letter, a traditional Chinese outfit, a camera (so the caregivers can take photos of Adam at the orphanage), an envelope with our address (we're hoping he will send us a letter or draw a picture) and a photo album with pictures of our family, the kids, grandparents, the house, the back yard, and Adam's room.

We also got an update on Adam's height, he is 60 inches tall. That is much taller than I expected, but from what other parents have told me it is a normal height. I gues a 7 year old, 5 year old and a 3 year old didn't prepare me for the height of an 11 year old! :smile:

Monday, February 15, 2010

We are in need of prayers

I have been trying to find out for several weeks if China has approved us to adopt two children at the same time. Today I spoke with our social worker and she said that she is under the impression that we would have to travel a second time to adopt Megan (if we were approved by China). I cannot stand the thought of traveling twice and leaving our young children twice within a short period of time. I also don't think this would be good for Adam to be adopted and then shortly either left at home with grandparents as caretakers or to travel to China to the same orphanage that he recently left. I anticipate that there would either be some attachment issues with having another set of caregivers for two weeks or issues with being in China again when he may not have attached to us yet.

I know that God can work this situation out if this is in his plan but in my human-ness I do not want to travel twice. Please keep us in your prayers.

Beth

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Chinese New Year Celebration!

Today we skipped church (which only happens once in a blue moon) to make sure we made it to a Chinese New Year Celebration at a local art museum. We saw a local Chinese school do a Lion Dance. It was amazing! I videoed it and wanted to share it but it is too big of a file to upload. We all had an amazing time. The kids did crafts, we saw the Lion dance, we saw a Chinese Yo Yo exhibition. Great time!!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Chinese New Year part 2....

Each year has an animal that is associated with it. This year is the Year of the Tiger. There are 12 animals in the Chinese Zodiac. They are: The Rat, The Ox, The Tiger, The Rabbit, The Dragon, The Snake, The Horse, The Sheep, The Monkey, The Rooseter, The Dog and The Pig. Adam was born in the Year of the Tiger so this year will be very important to him. We believe Megan was born in the Year of the Ox, so last year would be important to her. (We don't know her birthdate yet, so we don't know exactly what year she was born in but we can guess)

Oranges are used as decoration or as gifts because they sound like the word for "good luck", they are round which symbolizes wholeness or completeness. Usually they are placed in a "pyramid" shape when used as a decoration.

Chinese New year lasts 15 days! Most families don't celebrate for all 15 days but traditionally each day had a specific function.

There are two "dances" that are pretty well known. The Lion dance is generally performed earlier in Chinese New Year. The Lion costume is worn by two people. The Lion will dance around the city/town and visit houses and businesses which gives them good luck, most people will leave red envelops(with money) in lettuce for the Lion.

There is also the Dragon dance. The dragon dance is usally seen at the end of the New Year celebration. The Dragon has more than two people, usually 9 people and usually is held on poles, rather than covering the people like the Lion.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Chinese New Year....

Chinese New Year (also known as "Spring Festival" in China) is a lunar holiday which means it changes each year based on the moon. This year CNY starts on Feb 14th. There is alot of preparation for CNY, the house is completely cleaned prior to the first day, hair is cut before CNY starts and food is prepared. There is alot of "luck" associated with Chinese New Year. Once the house is cleaned the broom is put away until after Chinese New Year (sweeping dirt out of the house is associated with sweeping your luck away) If you use scissors, it is thought that you are cutting your luck short. (BTW, that is also why long noodles are eaten, if you bite them or cut them you cut your luck short)
Decorations that are red with Chinese character of Luck, prosperity, wealth, etc are hung on the front door, usually in pairs.

The night before Chinese New Year starts (this year it would be Feb 13th) the children in the family stay up as late as possible becuase it means that the parents will live longer.

Everyone wears new clothes.

Children are given red envelopes with "lucky money" inside.

The food eaten also has lucky connotations: a whole steamed fish(complete with head, eyes, etc) means you will have plenty, chinese dumplings look like gold coins, Egg rolls or spring rolls bring weakth and of course the "long life" noodles.

I will try to finish telling about Chinese New Year tomorrow.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Video test....

I wanted to put a video on our blog to see if everyone can see it. Well, today I videoed Brian so I thought I'd use this. If you can see the video can you put a comment letting me know? Thanks. Beth (Sorry the video isn't the best quality...I think the "cuteness" makes up for it!)
video

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Photo of Adam!

Are you sitting down?

We just got the call from our agency that we have our Letter of Acceptance (LOA) for Adam!!!! Yay!!! (That doesn't even do justice to the screaming that was going on!)

Tomorrow the LOA will be delivered to our house and Mark and I will sign it and overnight it back. This is the official acceptace of Adam as our son-to-be. We can now send a care package to Adam. Abby was more excited about the care package! I am so excited!! Once we sign it and send it back I can post a photo of Adam on the blog.



Beth

Monday, February 1, 2010

I need to stop!

We started the adoption process Nov 2008. I figurd if I buy a few shirts and pants at a time I can get clothes for Adam (and now for Megan, too)without breaking the bank. So, I bought some clothes for Adam on clearance, I have bought some clothes at yard sales, I bought some matching shirts for Adam and Brian (3yrs old) and Goodwill had a 1/2 off sale on all clothes where I bought some shirts for Adam and shirts/dresses for Megan. We washed the clothes and this morning I was putting Adam's shirts away...his dressers are FULL! I think I need to stop buying him clothes! :smile: Now I need to concentrate on Megan's dresser! (Although I have alot of pants for her because of hand-me-downs for Abby and Emily)

Keep in mind that I'm not sure what size Adam and Megan will be so I'm buying in two sizes for each of them...so, they don't have as many clothes to wear as you might think!

Just thought I'd post a silly post.

Beth

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Bethany says....

YES! Bethany (our adoption agency) has given up aproval to adopt Megan at the same time as Adam. Now we are waiting to hear from China.

Did I ever tell you that I am NOT a patient person? :smile:

Beth

Wow. I have no words...

A mother of a teenager who was adopted 4 months ago posted something on her blog. I cannot say it as eloquently as she did. Please read what she posted about older child adoption. Thank you.

http://joyunspeakableandfullofglory.blogspot.com/2010/01/older-child-adoption.html


Beth

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Update on Adam and Megan

We met with our social worker on Jan 13th to talk with her about the possibility of adopting Megan. She will go over her notes with her supervisor and they will, hopefully, let us know this week if they will recommend that we be allowed to adopt Megan when we adopt Adam. We are also waiting to hear from the head of the "China Team" if China will allow us to adopt Megan and Adam together.

We are still waiting to find out when our dossier was logged in. The dossier was sent before Thanksgiving and, two months later, we are waiting to hear if we have a log-in date. We are still waiting for our LOA (Letter Of Acceptance) for Adam. Once that is here we can send him his first care package.

Right now we are not thrilled with "red tape". There is so much red tape during the adoption process and it is very frustrating.

Our family attended a "International dinner" that our adoption agency does every year. We met families who have already been through the adoption process and there were also families who are still waiting for their child. The families who have already adopted a child(ren) brought food from their child's country of origin. There was food from China, Guatemala, Philippines, Ethiopia and several more. There were games and crafts from the different countries. It was a fun night. Abby gave it a "thumbs up"!

Our family is planning on celebrating Chinese New year twice this year. Bethany has a Chinese New Year celebration and there is also one at the Delaware Art Museum that we are looking forward to.

I will probably be posing about some of the traditions of Chinese New Year as it approaches. FYI, Chinese New Year starts on Feb 14th this year...does that date sound familiar? :smile:

Have a great night.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

We cannot ignore the call...

We just started telling our church family on Sunday that we are trying to adopt a 12 year old girl at the same time we adopt Adam. We plan on naming this girl Megan. I am sure that there are those who are wondering why we would adopt an
almost-teenager as well as an 11 year old. We feel that God has called us to adopt these two children.
I read something on a blog about a family that adopted a 13 (almost 14) year old girl last year. The mother of this family gave me permission to post it here. This is her response when people question their decision "It was not what we were planning to do. It was what we were called to do. And we could not ignore that call." Mark and I both feel called by God to adopt these children and we cannot ignore that call. God's callings are not always easy but we believe that God will give us the strength that we need.

We covet your prayers as we work to add these children to our family.