Saturday, March 29, 2008

March 28...

Thursday night I put Ryan to bed like normal. Didn't think much of it, really. Night is not his favorite time of day, and getting into a "good" pattern has been an on-again, off-again struggle since he came home. Not a huge problem; like any other issue of childhood, you deal with it the best you can and move on. And so we praise the good nights, encourage on the not-so-good nights, and try to meet his nighttime needs the best we can. Right now, most nights are "good," so we're happy...

And so, when he woke up for the fourth time in about four hours Thursday night, I wondered what on earth was wrong. I checked for fever, listened for cough, and with a sigh picked up my pillow and climbed into bed with him. (He sleeps in a queen size bed right now--he'll share it with Logan--so there's plenty of space for me to sleep comfortably.) Instead of settling down immediately, he continued to thrash around and whimper. Plus, he was doing his "I'm extremely agitated" thing, rubbing the sheets furiously with his palms. After a while, he finally snuggled up and settled in and slept the remainder of the night. Surprisingly, he was up very early yesterday morning, and it wasn't the best day we've had.

I chalked it up to a change in routine. Our big guys are all on Easter vacation this week, and the girls have been hanging out at home with us. Plus, his little friends Lauren and Emily, who spend every Wednesday and Thursday with us, had runny noses on Thursday. Maybe he caught something from one of them. Anyway, we lumped along through our day, grateful for the snow falling that kept us entertained.

Today, while doing some ironing, it dawned on me: March 28 is the day Ryan was found on the orphanage steps. Abandonment Day. Not pretty, and something that ALWAYS surprises me. Every year. I cannot imagine how deep the wound must be for a 3 year old abandoned at not quite 9 weeks to agonize once a year ON THE ABANDONMENT ANNIVERSARY the loss he suffered. It blows my mind. This little soul, so loved here and so comfortable with his life, truly mourns this loss. It's gut-wrenching to watch. This is the third time we've been through this, and you'd think I'd remember. But I didn't. And because I didn't, one very special little boy had to mourn alone until his tired momma climbed into bed to snuggle him.

As my heart aches for the hurt I can't heal in my Ryan, it also aches for his "China Momma" and his "China Daddy." I cannot begin to imagine the depth of loss they must feel. Nine weeks is a long time to have a baby around before determining that you simply aren't able to raise him. We know nothing about Ryan's birth parents or why he was left, but we pray for them regularly. We pray for their hearts and their healing. Our heartfelt prayer is that someday we will all be together in heaven, rejoicing in the little boy so deeply loved on two continents. Tonight, though, my heart breaks for them and for their loss.

Thursday, March 27, 2008


Our agency called this morning with awesome news: our TA (travel approval) has been issued! They should have a hard copy in the office tomorrow or Monday and will schedule our Consulate Appointment (CA) as soon as they receive our TA. Then we'll have firm dates to travel! Can ya'll see me beaming???

The Consulate Appointment is important. It's with the US Consulate in Guangzhou China, where Logan will receive his visa to enter the US. Without that stop, we can adopt him but we can't bring him home. So, in order to make sure the process flows as smoothly as possible, the agency will take our TA, which they have to fax to the Consulate, and request an appointment to issue the visa. Once that is set, then we'll work backwards and schedule appointments in Logan's province to complete his adoption paperwork and receive his Chinese passport. Then we will know what day we will get Logan. From there, then we can determine how many days we want to spend in Beijing and arrive at a departure date. Right now, we're shooting for a CA the week of May 19, which would have us home May 22 or 23. Working backwards, we'd be in Henan province doing paperwork May 12 to 16 and in Beijing May 9 and 10. We'd leave here May 7, and the best part--we would likely get Logan on Mother's Day! How cool is that??? Ryan joined us just a few days before my birthday in 2005, so I can't think of a more fitting day to be "Logan Day" than Mother's Day. Pretty special gift...

I'll update as soon as we have more news. In the meantime, say a prayer today for my dear friend Ann, who is having major surgery as I type. Ann's been a friend and mentor for 18 years, and a special blessing from God in my life. I appreciate her tremendously!

And one more: Jim's had some ongoing gallbladder issues that have finally pushed him over the edge. He's having gallbladder removal surgery next Friday. We'd appreciate prayers for an uneventful surgery and a quick recovery.



This picture was taken Easter weekend. It looks like Logan likes Easter eggs. :)

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

my boys

I've had several requests for a picture of Brent. He HATES having his picture taken, so I don't have many candid shots. But I do have a few favorites to share...his senior pics were awesome, and I have a great one of Brent and Ryan together, taken in August 2006. Actually, that's when his senior pics were taken too. Enjoy my handsome guys! :)



Saturday, March 22, 2008


Well, we know for sure that Brent won't be able to travel with us. His company had their vacation "bids" last week, and because he's low man on the totem pole, the vacation time he "won" is next January! Ugh. Oh well. He will be sorely missed on this trip! We were looking forward to the opportunity to have some time with Brent, but I guess we'll just have to enjoy the special visit for Easter instead. It's so nice to have him home!!

Rejoicing in the promise of new life this Easter,


Friday, March 21, 2008


Just read in this morning's paper a very SMALL sidenote about yesterday's earthquake. It was called a 7.2 earthquake in a sparsely populated province away from Beijing. Praise God!

Feeling much better,


Thursday, March 20, 2008

Prayers please

I do NOT know anything more than what I am sharing here but will update when I learn more...

There was an earthquake today in Beijing. Conflicting reports about the magnitude are being heard, due in part to the news blackout from the Tibet conflict. Currently China is allowing nothing to be reported except the "official government" news statements.

Please pray for Logan and the children and staff at Philip Hayden Foundation. Pray for their safety and that the adults will be able to keep the children comforted. I can't imagine how scary that could be! Pray too that this does not affect the issuance of our Travel Authorization (TA), the piece of paper that gets us to China. Without a TA, we cannot get Logan a visa to enter the US. The TA is issued by the China Center for Adoption Affairs, located in Beijing.

Alos, please pray for the Tibet conflict. As it stands right now, it's not a huge issue for our travel as we're not anywhere near Tibet. But, it has changed the process by which visas are issued for us to travel, and that may impact us. Also pray for peace in the skies--with the Olympics coming this summer to Beijing there have been terrorist threats against in-China flights. We will have to fly some inside China, and somehow the thought of flying with terrorists isn't my idea of fun.

Grateful that God is in control,


Thursday, March 13, 2008

WOW...just wow

There are no other words to describe how I feel.

Late last week, I heard from a family in Sweden who is adopting a boy from the same place as Logan. As a matter of fact, their son Theo is about Logan's age, and the two boys are said to be best friends. Although I'm sorry that we are so far apart, it is so nice to know where he's going so that we can keep in touch. I have enjoyed e-mailing with Helen, and the possibility of someday being able to visit Sweden sounds pretty cool too. :)

Anyway, Helen mentioned that they would be getting their son at Philip Hayden Foundation, rather than having him transfered to the orphanage as we had been told was the procedue. Immediately I asked our agency about it, knowing from others that the director of the orphanage prefers that the children come back before they are given to their new families. Apparently, this is a relatively new thing--less than one year. Today I got the following response from Stefani, our agency's Waiting Child China program director (and woman extraordinaire!!):

"We got confirmation today of our first child from Logan's orphanage currently in foster care in Beijing being able to meet her parents in Beijing instead of having to go back to the Social Welfare Institute. She will be adopted in two weeks. We are very pleased with this. This child is not at the PHF but another foster center in Beijiing. This bodes very well that Logan will also be able to meet you in Beijing and travel with you to Zhengzhou to do the paperwork. Keep those fingers crossed!"

I am blown away! Had we been leaving today or tomorrow as we had hoped, Logan would have been back at his orphanage for the last 4 days or so. Now, it's possible that he won't have to make 2 major transitions at all! That news makes our wait(and our disappointment at not traveling now) seem so minor.

And so, let's storm the gates of heaven with this request! Prayer is a far more worthwhile endeavor than simply keeping my fingers crossed. :) God seems to have a plan, and I'm loving watching everything come together. THANK YOU for your prayers!

Rejoicing through tears of happiness,


Friday, March 7, 2008

Out of the mouths of babes...

I'm dying here...

Yesterday Ryan was sitting on my lap, and we were talking about Logan. He wanted to know where Logan would sit when he came home. Ryan was sitting on my right leg, so I said, "Well, my right leg is Ryan's leg. My left leg is Logan's leg. There's room for both of you on Mommy's lap." (Good way to help him learn right and left, too!)

The little stinker thought for a minute, then looked me in the eye and said, "Hmmm. That means there's still room in the middle. We can put one more in the middle Momma."

NOT what I expected. And please, could we just get Logan home first???

Thursday, March 6, 2008

I witnessed a miracle today!

It's been an amazing day, and I am totally in awe of what God can do through those who love Him and love children. There's a darling little girl on our agency's waiting child list. She's been there for about 6 months, and she desperately needs a family. Her needs are fairly significant and her future is unclear. But, there is a family who wants to bring her home. They just recently returned from China with a boy who has severe heart issues. Joey went almost directly from the airport to the hospital for open heart surgery and is now growing and thriving. His adoption means this family isn't just "rolling in money." The little girl, Brighton, has a grant associated with her adoption to help with the costs. Today, her hopeful momma posted a note to the agency's bulletin board, letting the families there know that they would proceed if they could raise approximately $2500 in a few weeks. She asked us to pray for them. Someone asked her to pull together a webpage for Brighton and allow families to become "Brighton's village." She did--with a "chip-in" on the site for people to donate. In about 8 hours, people have donated over $3600 to cover the out of pocket costs--the Immigration paperwork that leads to a US visa, the homestudy, and the collection and authentication of the paperwork needed for a dossier. It has been exciting to see God move to give this young girl a chance, a hope for life!

Check out Brighton's page: Join the fun and change the world for a child! Even $10 will make a huge difference.

Honored to be part of such an incredible group,


A bit off topic...

...or maybe not.

Please keep Jim in your prayers. He's SWAMPED at work right now and really starting to feel the stress. Don't get me wrong--he loves his job, but it's a bit much some days. He's been very busy with some contract negotiations the last 2 weeks and now is under the gun to finish a huge project by March 21 so he can spend the following week in Japan. (Yep, the same week as spring break around here. For all four school aged kids. ICK! Oh well.) He can do it, and will, but I know that things feel out of control. He's also been dealing with gallstones and some fairly significant pain, which is exacerbated by stress. He needs gallbladder removal surgery, but right now doesn't have time to schedule it. Talk about a "catch-22." Just pray for strength and wisdom for him in the coming weeks. Understanding for the rest of us would be good too. ;)

Pray too for us as we need to make some decisions about who gets to go with us and when we travel. Costs increase signficantly if we wait until mid-May, so we're trying to balance all the pieces and determine what's most important. Getting Logan home is most important, of course, but timing and travel companions--I can't imagine a more fun group to spend time in China with than our children!--are also important. We need to make some decisions soon so that we can get visas. I'm so glad that God knows the right answers!!

Thanks for the prayers,


Tuesday, March 4, 2008

All in God's timing

God is rarely early, but He's NEVER late.

I needed that reminder yesterday. It has been a rough 10 or so days, and I was feeling very much at the "end of my rope." But as always, God is faithful and provides just what we need exactly when we need it. Those words (and 12 new pictures of our guy!) broke my funk and put me back on track.

And His timing is once again perfect. Today we got the news we've been hoping for since early February:

Our LOA is here!!

When I texted Hailey, she said "Hey Mom. You need 72 pitch in your text messaging!" She's right. I am thrilled beyond measure. We'll sign this piece of paper and send it back to China. Once they receive it, they'll issue us a Travel Invitation, which says we have 90 days to go to China and complete Logan's adoption. We'll be there!! Right now, it seems that we may need to postpone our travel just a bit and go in mid-May. I'd love to go as soon as we get our TA, but Jim is very busy at work right now with some huge projects and some significant travel anticipated between now and late April. May is much better for him. It opens the possibility that Brent can, once again, be able to go with us. And, although missing 2 weeks of school would be hard for the girls, they would be able to do it with enough advance warning. And so, May it may be. It also means that we are winding down our "school year" commitments here and can settle into a summer routine with many hands to help Logan settle and learn, and watch Ryan when Logan has visits to Children's Hospital. Those are good things.

Smiling today, and most definitely PRAISING God for His provision,


walking "in line" Seems that we need to work on this!
Jumprope fun in warmer weather
Coloring fun at preschool
What a sweet face!