Monday, December 31, 2007

Its Monday


We are going to do things a little bit different here on Monday Meditations.
You see, I know we are all praying for our sweet babies, those who are caring for them and for God to use them. I am praying for our babies birth families that they will feel Gods presence among them in what can only be a very stressful situation.

Today I want to pray for specific people and I think I will do this each week. I hope you will join me as I am finding that praying for friends and even people I do not know FUN! Really, really fun. To go to my Creator and talk to him directly is just awesome and what a privilege.

1) The Hoffmans. I have spoken about them before. They are okay people. Just kidding. They rock! They are humble and have become spiritual mentors for me, although I know they don't think so. they are adopting from both China and Ethiopia and are certainly on The Great Adventure. They have had hard times. They have had some serious God moments lately.They have shared their hearts with me and are REAL! I love them both dearly and it makes my eyes water to know they are a part of my life. Pray that they stay encouraged and will continue to allow God to lead their family. Lets shower them with prayers today!
2) The family over at The Seventh Diamond. She has made my blogging experience awesome. What an encouragment. She has Saturday morning chats over at her blog so if you are ever awake at around 8am, stop by. There is always someone to visit. I hope she finds the encourament she has given me. Lets also talk to God about my sweet friend!


Okay, I have spoken to you about my new interest with Love Without Boundaries. I am learning more about this organization and fascinated in their work. The love they have for those who can not help themselves.This weekend at work, I spent some time on their website and 2 sweet faces caught my attention. Please pray for babies Le and Chou. The type if surgery that chou needs is one of the types of patient I take care of at work each night. Please take a moment right now and pray they find love today and that the money needed to do their surgeries would just pour in. There is a place on the website to donate if you feel led. No amount is too small!!

Praises
1) All Nov 2005 families that were on my blogroll are home from China! WooHOo
2) New referrals should be here soon
3) Adoption!!!!!
4) the awesome friends we have made through this process
5) God is leading people to adoption all over the world

Friday, December 28, 2007

2007 almost over

Wow! 2007 is coming to a close which brings a new year! What will 2008 bring for the Christopher family? I am excited to find out!



One of the things that was talked about at our Christmas Eve service was change. Craig asked the question "How have you changed this year?", and "How are you going to change next year"? Both excellent questions.

I know that the Christopher family has really changed in our 6 years of marriage and it will continue to change. To grow, I think there must be change. I hate change. I fear change but then again most of the time, I really appreciate change. the biggest change will occur when a) we see that sweet face on referral day and 2)when LynnMarie is placed in our arms. That is once change i am looking forward to.

But we have to wait for that day. What are you doing during the wait? During our First Friday gatherings, Susan and Dan have continued to encourage us to find things to do during our wait. Michael and I have several things to work on.
During our wait we will
1) work on losing weight and becoming healthier
2) building a stronger marriage
3) getting out of debt
4)learn about our daughters culture
5)continue to be encouraged by following others journey

Things that I (Amy) would like to do are
1) Learn more about Love Without Boundaries
2)become a better friend and wife

I can't even begin to share with you how my heart and soul have been transformed this year. Its totally amazing and really is indescribable. The friends we have made during this process have helped me change and grow emotionally and spiritually and for that, I am so thankful to all of you. You have made this process fun! Adoption is fun! Okay so the paperchasing could have been a bit more exciting, but its been awesome. Adoption rocks and we aren't getting a referral for quite a while.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

today

Hello friends! Hope you had a wonderful Christmas! I know many friends had their first Christmas with their children and I have loved reading about your days. I know many of you know that 2008 will bring more families together and I cant wait to read your stories as well.

We had a great season and I know that 2008 will bring wonderful memories to the Christopher house.
This Christmas, LynnMarie received a ladybug blanket and crib sheet from her Uncle Tim and Aunt Mery!!!!

Recently, I have been reading the Love's Journey 2 book. This book is a fundraiser for Love Without Boundaries, the organization that helps provide all types of care to orphans in China. The website is awesome, and I am falling in love with this group.

I thought I would share a poem that I read last night

You Are Mine
by Kelly Feichtinger

I love you
Though I have yet to see your face.
You are mine.

I dream of holding you in my arms
My child from far away
You are mine.

I like awake at night
Imagining who you will be.
You are mine.

I prepare our home and my heart
To receive such a precious child.
You are mine.

I pray for your happiness and safety
Until I can be the one to provide it.
You are mine.

I hold my breat
As we wait for the call.
You are mine.

I will the time to fly by
As we wait fir permission to travel
You are mine.

I feel as though my heart will burst
When you are placed in my arms.
You are mine.

You rest your soft cheek against mine
And sigh contentedly.
I am yours.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

LynnMarie's LID Book #9-


This is a newer book by the author of one of the first books we bought for LynnMarie's library, God Gave Us You. We had this one at the church bookstore and I saw it last week and decided it should be the LID book for December. As it turns out, we had 2 copies left at the store when we got to church today and I put one on hold while we went to the early service. By the time I came down to work my shift in the store, the other copy had sold, so we;re glad I put the one on hold. -Michael

Its our 8 month LID anniversary!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

special gift

Last Sunday, Michael and I met our small group from church at a Japanese Steakhouse for our Christmas dinner and participated in a White Elephant exchange. You pick numbers and go in order to randomly pick gifts. The fun part is that you can exchange your gift with someone who has already chosen one. Anyway, when it got to my turn, a little elf told me to pick the striped bag. So, I did and I knew immediately what it was. Our wonderful small group (whom we have only known for a few months) gave us some wonderful quilt squares to add to our collection. I have never spoken about the quilt, they got the info from this blog and the info I provided in our Christmas card. Many of you know I cry easy and this was no exception. The embroidered her name on the squares and the wishes were just so personal. This was a wonderful surprise.!!

Check out the pics below! Thanks friends! You guys rock!






Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Coming Up

Keep an eye out for the posting of some special quilt squares coming soon to a blog near,.... well, to this blog.

Friday, December 14, 2007

2007 Christopher Thanksgiving

thanks secret pals



Thanks so much. I am so glad participated in this and I am sorry I haven't thanked them yet. LynnMarie got some cool WInne the Pooh stuff and yesterday we got the coolest Christmas stuff. Angela thanks for revealing yourself. You have been too good to me and I hope we get matched up again. Thanks so much. Our CCAI April SP ran for 6 months and our April DTC SP signed up for a year.

THanks again friends!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

I can so relate to the Grinch

Bear with me. This could be long. I have been thinking about this past weekend and wanted to wait to post my thoughts.

Why do I compare myself to the Grinch? Most people know I absolutely love the Christmas season. But as in the movie, I feel like my heart doubled in size this weekend. I am so glad Michael shared his thoughts regarding First Friday in the post below.

Friday evening, I had a bad attitude. As much as I love my First Friday friends, I did not want to go. I am going to be pretty honest with you here. It seemed that everyone had great things to look forward to but us. People were home from China, our friends had referrals but the Christopher's had nothing. How selfish was I. One of the greatest parts of this journey is rejoicing with our friends when they have good news. I am so glad that I went. I know with confidence that the Christopher family will grow at the most perfect time and because of that I am going to enjoy this wait.

We all met at La Dolce Vita and I enjoyed the sounds of friends. At dinner were the Ladmans with their new referral for their 2 year old boy, the Hoffmans with their referral for their new son who has the most amazing eyes I have ever seen, Miss Shelby was home from China, Lennah and her family ,the Nolands,and I was lucky to sit near Mr. Sheridan whose presence always makes me smile. As we enjoyed our meal, my nasty attitude went away as I realized I was surrounded people who truly "get us" and for that I am thankful. Even Kim who knows me far better than I thought she did told me later that she realized that Michael and Amy were probably feeling a bit down. Thanks Kim for being you. Oh I had no idea what the night would bring.

As we arrived at First Friday, we visited and socialized with new friends and friends we had not seen in a long time. There was wonderful music playing and then Ms. Carole Ford led the music and God used her to speak directly into my heart. This entire evening was almost a whisper from God. How could I have missed this? My attitude could have prevented me from one of the greatest experiences. During the music, tears fell. Sad tears that made me realize how much time I have wasted worrying about things I can not change. Tears of joy from knowing that one day we will have the family I have dreamed of and tears of happiness of being surrounded from this great group of friends. God pretty much poured His peace upon me.

After Carol sang, Amy Eldridege spoke from Love Without Boundaries which is a ministry that goes to China to help take care of the children by loving them and providing medical care. Michael shared her words but I want to share my thoughts as I listened to her. A song came to mind and I have no idea who sings it or what its about and the words may not make sense to you. It is probably a Steven Curtis Chapman song but who knows.

The words are "What will you do now that you've found me"? You may not understand why these words are important. To me this means a lot. A lot of questions were asked of me that night and the answers were clear. I asked to make me more aware of this desires for me. God speaks to us in so many different ways.

Why are we adopting from China? We want to start a family and there are orphaned babies in China.

Why do we want to adopt an orphan? They need families..Sounds like a win win situation.

SHe mentioed loving the unlovable. We know that God is a father to the fatherless. There are not only orphans but babies with needs that prevent these babies from getting families. As a special needs nurse, I see this and wonder what would have happened to my patients if they did not have the homes that they have.

There really is no reason why we should not go with special needs. For a long time, I have used the " We don't want to go special needs just to decrease our wait" excuse. I am sharing my thoughts here, these are not necessarily Michaels. I have no idea whats going to happen to the Christopher family but I am quite excited about the possibilities. Rebecca, who is a First Friday friend, once commented on this blog, "God is not silent right now". That comment has stayed with me as we have seen Gods hand at work over the past year. This red thread we talk about has just brought the most amazing people into our life. I have said this before that although we are not even half way done with our wait, our lives have been forever changed. Wait til Miss LynnMarie gets home.
Susan and Dan, thanks for bringing Love Without Boundaries to First Friday. I really can't put into words but Amys words meant to many people that night.

Sunday morning we headed to church and the tears fell once again. I am not one to talk about the Holy Spirt moving simply because I am really not good with words but what a service. After the sermon, they played a song and shared videos of the baptisms last week. As i watched the faces of the people as they were lifted out of the water, I couldn't help but cry. To publicly declare their decision was amazing and the expressions were just too much for me. We ended the service with a song that moved me again. I could not tell you the words but it was sung at the perfect time. God spoke this weekend and he was clear and He was loud.

We ended our Sunday with the Christopher Christmas party. That morning I prayed for the people who would attend and we had such a nice time . We had coworkers, church friends, adopting friends, trivia friends and small group friends attend. Thanks to all who came. Hope to see more of you next year.
This season is special. We dont know how many Christmas's will be until LynnMarie comes home. I will use each season to prepare our home and our hearts for her arrival. This has been a year of smiles and tears. It has been a year of wonder, a year of dreams, a year of self awareness. Had we not decided to adopt, I would not have experienced any of this. God is good.

My friends, thank you for being part of this journey.. Thanks for loving us and letting us into your lives. I wish I could put into words what you guys have meant to us.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Monday Meditations

Good morning!
Today I will be praying for everyone involved in the adoption process including the adopting parents, our sweet babies, the birth moms, those caring for our babies, the doctors and nurses who check on our sweet babies, our agencies, the CCAA, those who help with our travelling to China and so many things. Can you add to this list?

Friday, December 07, 2007

First Friday 12-7-07

Michael Writing...

Tonight we had our monthly First Friday gathering, a support group for those interested in, participating in, or living with the joy of international adoption.

About 10 months ago we started having dinner before the meetings with our friend Karen Ladman, whose husband was, at the time, in Kuwait serving in the U.S. Army. We started sending out emails to other friends and picking a new restaurant each month. Tonight we met at La Dolce Vida, a new Italian bistro located about 2 miles from the church where First Fridays are held and tonight we had about 15 people for dinner! My how we've grown.

We were joined by the Ladman's (Bruce is back), The Perry's (with Sheridan), The Hoffmans, The Nolan's, and I apologize for not knowing all the last names, but Donna with her boys and new addition Shelby (just back from China), and Lenah with her mom and grandmom, so 18 people actually!

This may have been the best First Friday we have attended. We enjoyed socializing for about 45 minutes before the Chapman's began the program. During this time I got to meet the newest natural member of the group, Sophia Radicci, who is precious! Dan introduced Carole, who is one of the praise team singers at North Metro Church. She played the keyboard and sang three songs before leading us in an acapela series of chorus of "O Come Let Us Adore Him." She also told us that while growing up in Macon, GA, the black kids liked to learn and sing French Christmas Carols and then asked us if we were really THAT gullible.

Our guest speaker this month was a very special lady named Amy Eldredge. Amy is an adoptive mom from Oklahoma who has found herself creating and leading a special ministry called Love Without Boundaries. In the past 5-6 years she has probably been to China more times than anyone not in politics.

Love Without Boundaries is dedicated to four key areas of service for Chinese orphans. These areas are medical, nutrition, education, and fostering. You can learn about the ministry at www.lovewithoutboundaries.com.

They send teams to China to perform surgical and medical procedures absolutely for free, especially repairs to cleft lips and cleft palates. They have also done trips to remove tumors and treat cancers. The stories she shared were amazing. Apparently the benefits of foster parenting versus orphanage care are having a great impact. Amy described orphanages where there is no glass in the windows and only plastic sheeting for doors, orphanages with no heating systems, orphanages with mold covering the walls because they regularly flood, and other horrific situations.

The stories that struck me the most have to do with the facts and reasons behind the abandonment of these babies. It is really not an exclusive result of the one-child policy. There are decisions being made for families by the parents of the parents of the babies. When a child is born, the mother is given thirty days of seclusion with the baby to transfer their che and bring luck to the baby and the family. Amy described a situation where a child needed a cleft repair. The baby was too small to treat safely as it was under 10 pounds weight. The mother pleaded with the LWB team, but there was nothing they could do. The mom explained it was her 28th day, and if the baby was not healed, her mother-in-law would make her abandon the baby. With nothing else available, they gave the mother $500 and told her to go and hide, and try to have the baby treated when its weight was up.

I have not been moved by such an experience in a very long time. There is no shame in crying in public, especially when you are exposed to the dramatic needs of those less fortunate than the rest of us, those who don't have the fortune to have been born in the United States. It's times like this that I know we are doing the correct thing in seeking our daughter in China.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

The Wait

Michael writing tonight...

So Amy posted earlier today about people receiving their referrals. I don't get excited in any great manner as Amy does. I realize it's a time of joy for the families getting their matches, but for me I spend time thinking about the math involved.

I understand that batches of referrals are coming out about every 5 weeks. Each batch has about 4 days worth of dossiers processed. There is some variance (not much) as batches may come 4-6 weeks apart and may have 1-7 days worth of dossiers processed, but let's look at the averages.

We were logged in on April 23, 2007. The most recent matches took us through people logged in on December 8, 2005. That is a difference of 501 days worth of dossiers ahead of us. If an average batch has 4 days worth of dossiers, and they release 10 batches a year, then that is 40 days worth of dossiers processed per year. 501 divided by 40 = 12.5

We're being told that the wait should never exceed 3 years, but I don't see how this is possible. At the current rate, we'll be traveling in 2019, IF things don't slow down any more or get stopped entirely. I guess if we look at it this way, it's easier to see why someone told us we will be switching to special needs. Otherwise our daughter may graduate high school when I am roughly 66 years old.

Michael

Update - I've been told my math is off, but I was using numbers as I understood them from talking to Amy (my spouse) but Amy (the blog commenter in Virginia) says they are averaging 12 batches a year (though Amy the spouse says it's 4-6 weeks per batch) and 8 days of dossiers processed per batch on average. SO recalculate, 12 batches times 8 days = 96 days processed per year, divided into 501, still puts us well over 5 more years to go. Either way, it's a long time.


Random thoughts and prayers needed

Well, its referral day and its always fun to see the new babies.
Yesterday I spent some time with Miss Rebecca and Sophia and what a joy that was. I always enjoy time with friends and feeding a new baby is also a lot of fun! Thanks guys!

Also, I know this year many people are celebrating their first Christmas with their children. Many people also know this is the last Christmas without their new addition. Many families are also celebrating a "first". A first Christmas without their children. As a nurse who takes care of patients with brain tumors, I ask specific prayers for 2 families. Jenny and Tre who are celebrating Miss Izzys first Christmas but they are also celebrating their first Christmas without Catie who passed away in January. Miss Izzy was born one week after Catie passed away. God has worked in this family and I wish I could share these cool things but I dont thing blogger will let me use all that space. Izzy was placed in this family at such the perfect time. I will not tell you how special this family is to me. I truly adore this family and they have blessed me beyond measure.

Jason and Amber lost 2 girls this year. They lost Aubrey to a brain tumor earlier in the year and Ava was born still born not too long ago. I know their hearts are breaking but their attitude has inspired me and I ask you to pray for comfort for them. Another special family that will be forever etched in my heart.

Many of us do not know how many more Christmas's or other holidays will pass before we bring our children home. I will cherish each moment as we wait for LynnMarie as we pray for her, her birth mom and all who are involved in her care.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

More news later but stop on by Michaels blog and post a Christmas memory (always fun to do) or my personal blog and play the comment game.One of our adopting friends puts a dog on the top of the tree. I can not wait to see that one!.

Update: Go see the early Christmas present our First Friday friends the
Ladmans got! Go, I dont want to spoil it but what an early Christmas present. I so wasn't expecting to see that on their blog today. WooHoo! I am so excited...

Monday, December 03, 2007

Monday Meditations


First Fridays website is up and running and today I am using the prayer requests listed on the site as my prayer. Click here to see the site.



-Pray for God's protection over them.

-Pray for your child's health and wellbeing.

-Pray that your child may be comforted and loved each day.

-Pray for your child's eternal salvation.

-Pray for your child's emotional, physical, and spiritual strength.

-Pray that your child will have a passion for God.

-Pray that your child may have a teachable spirit.

-Pray for our hearts during this time.

- pray for those families who have been waiting a long time. Many were expecting to be home from China now this Christmas


Praises

- many families will be travelling soon

- many families are having their first Christmas as a family

- adoption has opened the door to many new friends

Friday, November 30, 2007

First Friday



Hey guys! To all of you Atlanta folks, First Fridays is happening next Friday at 7pm!!! The website will be running this weekend so I will post it as soon as I can.

Whats First Fridays? Its a blessing. It is a place for people who have been there done that, people who are waiting for their China babies and for those who have questions. Dan and Susan were called by God to start this ministry and God has really been working. I will warn you that I have not been bringing my tissues but will try to remember this week. There are so many happy tears shed and this week will be no different. Referrals to celebrate and babies home from China to meet. I am just too excited! This week there will be special music and a special guest from Love without Boundaries.

I can not put into words on what this group has done for Michael and I. I have posted my story before but had Michael and I not asked to go on a different boat for an excursion on a Disney cruise, we probably would not be adopting from China and certainly would not have heard about First Fridays.
There are so many families who attend and are happy to answer questions for you. We have met new friends here that I know will last a lifetime.

First Fridays is meeting at NorthMetro Church on Barrett Pkwy in Kennesaw. I received a Christmas card in the mail today from a family who had been hesitant about First Fridays but will be there next week. I love meeting new friends.

Please email me at amyschristopher@comcast.net for more info and I can point you in the right direction.

For those First Friday friends, thanks for being our friends. Thanks for being kind to us, for letting us into your lives and for praying for us. What God has done through all of you is truly a miracle. I can not put it into words. We are still in the waiting stage but our lives have been forever changed. I probably need to get permission for the title of my blog but as I sit here the words of the song are in my head
"Where love takes you in and everything changes A miracle starts with the beat of a heart "
I guess I will end this now before my tears flood my keyboard.haha!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Happy News

Have you ever been so happy for friends you just get silly and maybe shed a few happy tears? Well, its happened again for us. Our First Friday friends Tymm and Laura are adopting babies from China and Ethiopia! and guess what? They got their Ethiopian referral yesterday.. Oh I can not wait to give them hugs in person. Tymm and Laura were the first of many new friends once we started the adoption process that we clicked with. I am sooooo happpy for them..I really am excited.

They are wonderful people who are going to be wonderful parents. They are fun, silly, and love the Lord. They are just really neat people and are blessed to call them friends. They have been an encouragement to us just by being our friends. I can not wait to learn more about their sweet baby.

ON another note, I just want to remind all of my blogging friends in the Atlanta area about First Fridays coming up. Its going to be a special time this month and hope you can make it!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Monday Meditations


Praises
1)I am thankful for all of my new friends, both in the blogging world and through the adoption community
2)that new families are home and adjusting
3) that November is adoption awareness month
Prayers
1) the families of the babies in the orphanages. Pray that they will be blessed
2)those caring for the babies in China and all around the world
3)that we will stay encouraged during this wait and will continue to stay positive
4) the CCAA
5) our spouses
6) that we use this time of waiting to prepare ourselves for this life changing event

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Our Thanksgiving

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving with your friends and family. Its Christmas time and I am so excited. It is the family blog so I thought I would share with you (below in italics) the events that I wrote on my personal blog earlier. BTW, please send me your address to amyschristopher@comcast.net so I can get you on the card list and if you are in the Atlanta area, we are having a Christmas get together December 9th at 4pm.. Details to follow!!

I did get a little glimpse of the future Thursday though. I had what I like to call a "Father of the Bride" moment. Hope you can understand these. I just love movies that focus on the family.
As I walked downstairs right before dinner, I took a moment and stood still. I loved what I heard. Talking, laughter, sounds of the season. I love those moments. I can not wait to share these moments wit LynnMarie and any other children we have. I couldn't understand all the words but that was okay. It was family enjoying each other and to me, that's what every Holiday is about. I loved it. I loved the stress. I loved running out of things. I loved all of it.

I am so thankful this year for so many things. As our Christmas letter says, the adoption world has been our greatest blessing. I am so thankful to all of you who I know from First Fridays or from the blog world. This year, you have made me smile. I am thankful for my family, friends, my job, my home and every new emotion I have experienced (including the happy tears that have been raining from my eyes) I really do not think I have ever cried as much as I have since the year began.

Where do I begin? Its Christmas time and I plan on having fun this holiday season on this blog. Feel free to stop by during the day I plan on updating pretty frequently.Let's catch up shall we? So what do you think of my blog? Michael got a new one as well. Check him out here. Did I tell you how much I love Christmas time? It really is the most wonderful time of the year. How was your Thanksgiving?....I have had a wonderful week. The first part was cleaning and shopping and organizing. I am really not good at any of that, but I try and I enjoy what I do. HaHa!Wednesday evening, my mom and dad and sister came up to Atlanta and checked into the hotel (cat allergies) and we went to Chilis with everyone including my niece and 2 nephews. We talked about our menu and enjoyed the company. Thursday morning involved getting the turkey ready and all kinds of things..My family came over and helped soooooo much. While I made a last minute trip to the store, my mom and sister cleaned out my microwave and all kinds of stuff. So the in laws also came over and we had a nice time. Some of the family had to leave for the Falcons football game, so we wrapped it up and dad took us to Lake Lanier to see the Christmas lights. My dad knows I have always been the Christmas girl so it seems like he is always going out of his way to make sure I am in the Christmas trip. After seeing the lights, we got some hot chocolate and headed home. Kelly and I worked on a special project and planned on girl time shopping on Friday.Friday morning we slept in and headed out around 9am which was a blessing in disguise. While finding a Staples several miles away we passed a Target and Walmart I had never visited. So we decided to stop. Such a good thing as there were plenty of parking places, no lines and we got almost everything on our lists..Yipppee! We then went to lunch at Sweet Tomato's, shopped at Tadpoles and ended with Family Christian store. We were TIRED but had so much fun! We came home, finished our special project and continued getting into the Christmas spirit. We drove to Stone Mountain for their Christmas special ( we had never been there) and had a blast. We really enjoyed the Polar Express 4D special. We had too much fun.. Michael and I came home and I met my parents this morning to say goodbye at the hotel.Kelly (the sister) and I presented our parents with the special project. Thanksgiving Day was my parents 40th anniversary and during the past 6 months we have been collecting notes and pictures from friends and family and made it into a scrapbook (sister Kelly is very creative). The end result was wonderful. Mom shed some tears and was surprised to see notes and pictures from friends from decades . It was so much fun to do this for my mom and dad.Its time to work on leftover dinner for tonight. That was my wonderful week. I hope you had a good one.Cant wait to spending some time on this blog this month. I really don't care if people read it. Its just fun to be in the Christmas mood. I have not forgotten why I celebrate Christmas. I think about that night wen Jesus was born and how my life would not be the same had He not been born. For that I am eternally grateful...

Friday, November 23, 2007


HAPPY 7 MONTHS LID TO US! NEW BOOK TO BE ANNOUNCED AFTER WE GET BACK FROM STONE MTN TO SEE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS~ hAVE A GOOD DAY


Update: this is the book we chose for our LID. Its a very nice pop up book! Of course it had to be a Christmas book!


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Friends

Do you want to know what I was thinking about today? Some of our friends are spending their first holiday with their sweet babies this year. This is so exciting and I can't wait to be in their shoes. I am sure children make Thanksgiving and Christmas and birthdays so much sweeter and I am very much looking forward to that. To all of my friends both in the blog world and First Fridays and my friends and family who read this at times, have a blessed Thanksgiving and enjoy every minute with your family. Our Thanksgiving will be at our house and our guest count has gone from 4 to 10 or 11. How exciting.. My mom, dad, and sister will be with me. It will be first holiday I have spent with my sister since I have been married and I can't wait for some girl talk.

This year I have so much to be thankful for. Have a wonderful day friends!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Monday Meditations

Praises

1) Shelby is home from China and is now with her beautiful family
2) that the adoption community is so wonderful
3)that the CCAA has made it into December 2006

Prayers

1) travel mercies for those in CHina now meeting their new babies
2) CCAA
3) our agencies as they have had to tell people about the wait
4)those who are discouraged by the wait. I know there are a lot of people who have been waiting a long time and are ready to throw the towel in.
5) our children. Many of our babies are not born yet, but I pray they will be a blessing to everyone who is a part of their lives
6) Families who are home and still adjusting


Does anyone have anything else?

The picture above was taken from google images

Oh yeah, last chance to sign up for the Christmas Card Exchange. Just click on the yahoo button below, join the group and fill in the database. List will be ready on Wednesday



Click here to join amyscardexchange
Click to join amyscardexchange

Friday, November 16, 2007


Happy Adoption Day Friends and Family!
Thank for making this journey so incredible!
This was taken from bethany.org



What Does the Bible Say About Adoption?

Is adoption biblical?

Absolutely! The Bible is a story of our adoption by God. Adoption is the means by which all believers enter into the family of God.

“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. Romans 8:14-17

Is adoption a “second best” way to form a family?
Adoption is not “second best.” It is simply one way that God in His wisdom can choose for us to be parents. Whether one becomes a parent biologically or through adoption, the fact is that children are not a right—they are a gift from God.

“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord. Psalm 127:3

Does the Bible refer to adoption in a positive way?
Yes! The Bible always presents adoption as a positive, gracious act that is part of God’s plan.

Moses was adopted by Pharaoh’s daughter and his adoption was part of God’s overall plan for the deliverance of Israel from Egypt. (Exodus 2:1-10)

When Esther’s parents died, Mordecai, her cousin, took her as his own daughter and adopted her (Esther 2:15). This adoption also led to a wonderful deliverance of the people of God!

And in a way, wasn’t Jesus an adoptee? Joseph, who raised Jesus as his own, was not His biological father. Joseph gladly accepted Jesus, providing Him with all the love, encouragement, and guidance that a son needs from a father. Luke1-2


Does God bless the adoption of an older child or a child born overseas? Yes!
God uses adoption to advance His Kingdom and to share the miracle of His unconditional love. The child adopted into a Christian family will have the security of knowing that God has been watching over and protecting him or her since before birth.

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5


Click here to see the whole article

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Family Day

Hi again friends! Hope your day is going well. Today was another family day as we went window shopping at the mall, lunch at Ruby Tuesdays, Target, Walgreen's and bought our Christmas shopping. We also bought a Barnabas bear at Family Christian. When you buy one for 10 dollars, they send one to an orphan. Its a wonderful thing that Family has been doing for years.

As we shopped I people watched and saw so many things. Santa even waved at us..Yeah for Santa!!!!!

My prayers are for the family in China right now. I have read it on several blogs. A father went into a diabetic coma and passed away. I am not sure the details but I ask all of you to pray for the family.

I am really looking forward to mall days with LynnMarie and pictures with Santa Clause and going into the Disney Store and the puppy store and all of that fun stuff!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

1 Samuel

5 But to Hannah he gave a double portion because he loved her, and the LORD had closed her womb. 6 And because the LORD had closed her womb, her rival kept provoking her in order to irritate her. 7 This went on year after year. Whenever Hannah went up to the house of the LORD, her rival provoked her till she wept and would not eat. 8 Elkanah her husband would say to her, "Hannah, why are you weeping? Why don't you eat? Why are you downhearted? Don't I mean more to you than ten sons?"

9 Once when they had finished eating and drinking in Shiloh, Hannah stood up. Now Eli the priest was sitting on a chair by the doorpost of the LORD's temple. [b] 10 In bitterness of soul Hannah wept much and prayed to the LORD. 11 And she made a vow, saying, "O LORD Almighty, if you will only look upon your servant's misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the LORD for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head."

12 As she kept on praying to the LORD, Eli observed her mouth. 13 Hannah was praying in her heart, and her lips were moving but her voice was not heard. Eli thought she was drunk 14 and said to her, "How long will you keep on getting drunk? Get rid of your wine."

15 "Not so, my lord," Hannah replied, "I am a woman who is deeply troubled. I have not been drinking wine or beer; I was pouring out my soul to the LORD. 16 Do not take your servant for a wicked woman; I have been praying here out of my great anguish and grief."

17 Eli answered, "Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him."

18 She said, "May your servant find favor in your eyes." Then she went her way and ate something, and her face was no longer downcast.

19 Early the next morning they arose and worshiped before the LORD and then went back to their home at Ramah. Elkanah lay with Hannah his wife, and the LORD remembered her. 20 So in the course of time Hannah conceived and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, [c] saying, "Because I asked the LORD for him."


I have been doing a wonderful Bible Study at church called "The Amazing Collection" which guides you in reading and studying the Bible in 3 years. I can now believe I have really studied the word before now. What I am seeing is how relevant the Bible is. First I studied Sarah and her desire for a child, now I am studying Hannah. I do believe that God will grant us the desires of our heart. It may not be the same way as Sarah and Hannah, but He will provide in ways that are unimaginable. When you past the issues of jealousy and other emotions, its amazing what this peace feels like. I am so glad I am over that and can enjoy this time. I am so thankful for this wait (yes I wish it was shorter) as it is a time of preparation and I am thankful for adoption in general. I have enjoyed reading blogs of families who have been there, done that and although I do not know them, they have been such great encouragement. To have followed the journeys of Laney, Sheridan, Lily, Shelby and many others have taught me so many things and for that I am thankful that these families have allowed me to witness their journey. Thanks friends!!!!!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Monday Meditations

What are you praying for today?

I am praying
1)for all of us waiting- that we will stay encouraged

2)Shelby and her family. They are finishing up their China trip and will be bringing her home soon

3) CCAA

Doesn't sound too creative but its 11am, I worked last night and my words are running together!

Praises
1) referrals for 8 days (doesn't sound like much but it is in fact more than 5 days)

2) that people read our blog (haha!)

3) God is using China to open families eyes to other countries. Adoption is awesome!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Holidays and Dreams

As our first holidays since we were logged in are approaching, its made the think and hope and dream.
I wonder what it will be like to have LynnMarie running around while we make dinner and I wonder if she will enjoy the Macy's Thanksgiving parade as much as her mom does. I wonder if I will be able to help create memories that will last her a lifetime. I hope she likes to decorate the Christmas tree and listen to Christmas music way in advance.
I can't help but wonder what Thanksgiving and Christmas will be like in the future. Each holiday that passes I will think of LynnMarie and I will wonder when she will be home and will hope that it is sooner than later.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Special gifts



Yesterday I came home to find a box and looks what was inside..Definitely a gift that made me tear up and Michael loved it as well! Inside was a teddy bear that makes soothing sounds, the book I Love You Forever, which is my favorite book but I have not bought and the first thing to go on LynnMarie's wall. A beautiful print with her name on it which includes the red thread quote.. I have 2 wonderful secret pals who have put such thought into my gifts. Its been a wonderful experience..
Thanks for signing up for the Christmas Card Exchange. There is still time to join, just click on the yahoo button on the side..the list will be available right before Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Secret Pal gift





I forgot to post a picture of of my October gift from one of my secret pals. This SP sent me the cutest outfit (LynnMaries first pair of pants), a Halloween picture, a bib, a spoon and bowls with a Halloween theme and chopsticks . Didn't she do great? I love it all!



The other pictures are the countdown vases..I was able to move 8 stones to the other one this month. This is the progress. Its something else to pass the time..


Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Tuesday

I guess I will be moving 8 stones from the "Waiting for LynnMarie" jars. Yeah for all the families who saw their babies for the first time today. How wonderful! Also, Shelby's family has seen smiles. Shelby just joined her family this week in China and you can see pictures and her story over at www.myshelbybaby.blogspot.com

Have you ever had something stuck in your head and it just wont leave? You try to think of something else but it just keeps coming back? For the past week when I wake up and during other parts of the day, certain words just come to my mind and I am not sure why. Perhaps I have heard them in a song, read them in a book or on a blog but they have been on my mind. Seriously, since last week I have constantly had these words running in my mind
Hope Dream Pray Respond
I thought maybe it should be Pray Hope Dream Respond but this is the way its been coming to my mind I assume this pertains to our adoption but maybe not. Any thoughts or have you read this somewhere??? I would really like to have something else running through my head.
BTW, did you know that Thanksiving is coming up which means Christmas is right around the corner...YIPPEEEEE I can't wait to have LynnMarie home for Christmas and Thanksgiving. I cant wait to help her make some memories...

Monday, November 05, 2007

Monday Mediations

Praises



1) Its referral day yall! For those not in the adoption process, waiting families get their first glimpse of the child they have been matched with. Im sure many families were up all night. I cant wait to see the pictures and hope to pass along a blog or 2 here.



2) Its Shelby Day! Shelby is being united with her family today. Click here to see the blog!

3) The CCAA is working into December! So far they have matched people logged in December 1-8th!



Prayers

1)Pray for the CCAA

2)Pray for all of us as we wait

3)Pray for the families who missed their referral by one day!!

4)Pray for those who are discouraged and are thinking of leaving the program!

5) Pray for our children may their lives touch many others!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

First Friday

May I first say that Miss Shelby will be joining her family in the next day or 2? Please keep praying for a smooth adjustment.

Friday evening began with dinner at Fudruckers with Karen L and the Claxtons. I am so glad Michael was able to meet this beautiful family. He really enjoyed watching their sweet little girls interact! We then headed over to NorthMetro for our monthly gathering. We once again were blessed. We spent some time with Tymm and Laura and caught up on what was going on with them which led to talking about the church and the music and what songs I really love. After some socializing, Susan and Dan introduced Matt, who led us in some worship music. Matt is on the worship team at the church. The second song he sang was one of the songs that Tymm, Laura and I talked about. I have no idea what the song is called but I call it the "Oh No" song. If you attend North Metro, I think you will know what song it is. I really enjoyed the music.

The Chapmans shared a video to a song entitled "Glory Revealed". This video included families who are back from China. It was precious and hope all are able to see this amazing, beautiful video.
Craig B from North Metro Church spoke this evening and he shared his heart and the story about his family. Its amazing that we all have a story. Anyway, I cried but whats new huh? When you talk about infertility, the stories usually include the woman's feelings. It was nice to hear the other side. It was honest and I know many of us have shared some of those same feelings. One of the things he talked about was when he went to China to get his daughter, it was not the easiest time. She refused her father. She didn't want anything to do with him. Craig compared this to when we refuse or deny God and how He must feel. That hit home. Such powerful words.

We ended the night praying for a family who is leaving this week to get their 6 year old son and also viewing a video of Craig and his family arriving at the Atlanta airport from their China. What a gift this First Friday community is. I pray that everyone can find this type of support.

Before adoption entered my life, I was a non-public emotional person. Since then, I feel like my heart is literally exploding with emotions and feelings. Oh how I wish you could read my thoughts. I have a hard time putting them into words on this blog. As Rebecca said, this is so much more than just going to China to get our daughter. It is now a passion. It is a new lifestyle. My thoughts have changed. My heart has changed and I know that my life will forever be changed. Adoption has changed my friendships, the way I work and our marriage for the better. It is amazing and God is so good to bring us into this at such the right time. many people will question that in regards to the new wait. But trust me, we are in the right place right now and I will cherish every moment of this wait.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Adoption month

November is National Adoption Month


I can not believe it is November and during this month, we recognize adoption regardless if its domestic or international. I know that our lives are forever changed because of adoption and we are just waiting. I can only dream about LynnMarie coming home. If you are new to this blog, Michael and I are adopting a little girl from China. We have officially been waiting for 6 months but have been on this journey for over a year. 5 years ago, I thought adoption was just a wonderful thing to do and now it is etched in my heart. I hope that if you have thought about adoption at one time, you will take the next step and get information.Talk to your spouse. Pray about it. Its hard to take that first step, but I hope you will. Please pray for families who are currently waiting for their precious babies


If you are adopting or have been touched by adoption or are just a reader I ask that you de-lurk and post a message on this blog. Please leave your LID with your message. For new readers LID is your log in date or when China logged in your paperwork into its system.


On another note, if you are in the Atlanta area, I would like to invite you to First Friday this coming Friday at North Metro Church at 7pm. This is a wonderful place to learn about China adoption, meet people who have been there done there and just find support. Families who are thinking about adoption, currently waiting and families are home will be attending.There are also families who have adopted from other countries. If you have any questions, I hope you will come.




Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Please pray today for CJ, Donna and the boys as they have left for China to bring their sweet Shelby home! Pray for travel mercies and a smooth adjustment for all of the family.
In regards to the earlier post, I will be taking over the CCAI April LID yahoo group so if you are not a member and were logged in the same month of us, I hope you will join.
Longer post tomorrow..
Amy

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Randomness

1) My friends nursery is on HGTV. Her mom designed it. Check it out here!

2) New posts to Amy and Michaels blogs!! Happy posts and posts for you movie fans

3) If you are a member of the CCAI April 2007 yahoo group, big changes are coming. Check in for some updates!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

monday meditations

Each Monday at our blog, we offer Monday Meditations. I hope you will join us in prayer today for the requests that are on my heart and offer whats on yours.

Praises

1) Nov 2005 has been matched WooHoo
2) Many families have been united this week and many will be travelling soon.
3) There is Joy in adoption . CLick here to see a family who was united with their sweet boy today.

Prayer
1)CJ, Donna and the boys They leave Wednesday to get baby girl Shelby from China. Pray for physical, spiritual and mental health during this trip. Pray that Shelby has a smooth transition and pray for those who have been taking care of her. Stop by her blog and say hello!
2)Those who are discouraged with this wait
3)the CCAA
4)our family and friends who don't understand the wait and have many questions
5)our marriages during this time of waiting
6)Pray for the families who are sooo close to getting a referral. it may be this month or it could be the next.
7)that those families who have recently been logged in will find support during this wait!

I got this picture from google images.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Since its the family blog, I thought I would share the post from my personal blog. I like to brag about my hubby sometimes.

I really do. I don't know why. Perhaps its because I love life, God and my husband. Perhaps its because I am a dreamer and have such hope for the future. Perhaps its because I went to the gym twice last week. I love the fall. I really love my husband. He has been a fabulous husband over the past few weeks and I don't think he even knows it. I have been waiting to tell him how much he rocks but I haven't. He has been so funny with Lucy the basset hound and I often find them chilling together in the living room. Michael has been good at making sure we are not late to events and this means the world to me. His attitude has been fabulous and he has been funny .Michael is just awesome. We have enjoyed making new friends at church and in our small group. We attended tonight and had soup, salad and grilled cheese sandwiches. We have been having great conversations and although are time is limited because of his job and my working nightshift,we have managed to watch a few movies and shows together. I have just really had fun with him lately.
WE have a lot to learn about each other and parenting and during this wait for our daughter in CHina, we have plenty of time to learn. Michael is going to be such a fun dad. I look forward to this wait although I wish it was shorter. I am so glad we have the new family of friends that we have. I am thankful for First Fridays, and the yahoo groups and the families I meet at work....

I am blessed.
Its your turn..Brag about your spouse or significant other. Come on, you know you want to. Its fun.

Friday, October 26, 2007

China

Michael and I are going to China. One day. To bring our daughter home. Let me repeat. We are going to China (thats also called the land of far, far away). Its been on my mind that one day I am going to have a trip of a lifetime and a life changing experience at one time. How awesome is that? To experience a whole new culture will be amazing..

How many people get to go have/get a baby and an amazing trip? Its too exciting to think about.

these are just my thoughts today. One day, we are going to China to bring LynnMarie home

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The 6th official LynnMarie Book


Another favorite of Michael's from when he grew up.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

6 months

Happy 6 months LIDversary to us! That means we have been officially waiting for 6 months or over 180 days. How cool is that? Yippee! We are not discourged about the wait ahead of us but are thankful for all that we have experienced during these past 6 months! Thank you to all of our new friends who have helped us with the wait!
(Michael picked the airplanes!!!)
the LID book will be announced tomorrow, its Michaels turn to pick!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Monday Meditations

Monday Meditations


Good morning friends, family and other people! Each Monday, we hold Monday Meditations here, focusing on adoption issues!! Hope you will join in. feel free to share whats on your hearts!

Praises

1. the CCAA is working on December. November is through! Yippee!
2. People who are still turning in paperwork for China adoption
3. the people we meet during this wait

Prayer
1. Shelby- pray for Cj, Donna and the boys as they leave in the next 2 weeks to get their sweet little girl
2. Others who are waiting to travel or are travelling soon
3. the CCAA- no need to discuss this Haha
4. Our hearts- that we can maintain joy during this wait
5. Our spouses- sometimes I get so concerned about myself during this wait, I forget about how hubbys doing. Pray that our husbands find the same support that the wives do
6.Pray for the families who are hitting the one year of waiting. pray that they will not be discouraged

Another family has been united. Click here to see baby Alice!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

This weeks thoughts

So much going on. So many rumors..Ugh !!Dont worry, I'm not going to talk about the rumors.

"An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet, regardless of time, place, or circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle, but never break." Ancient Chinese Belief
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"Do you have children? "that's the question that comes when you meet someone new. Every time you get into a small group whether its church, work, that's the question you get. I used to hate that question and now I look forward to it. When I mention we are adopting a baby from China, it opens so many doors for potential conversations. Many people know others who are adopting from China and ask questions and also give a lot of advice and opinions. I love it.
I had heard of this red thread quote throughout the paper chase and at the beginning of our journey of waiting. This red thread is real. We are meeting so many people because of other people and stories of others are connecting with other people we know. Its been the coolest thing. Its literally a whole new world for us and thats awesome. Because of the adoption decision, we joined a support group that introduced us to a new church which is better than I could have ever imagined. I don't know about Michael, but it definitely feels like a home church now.
God has strengthed our marriage through this red thread. Its indescribable, really. Deciding to adopt has given us things to do together, things to hope for, things to dream about, more things to talk about. The friends and aquaintances that we have met have made an impact on our lives forever. We have learned so much from our adoptive friends in so many area of life. If you are one of those friends thank you. If you are a family or another friend, thank you for all of your support and encouragement. We don't know how long we will wait for LynnMarie, but your prayers are felt and cherished during this time.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Monday Meditations



Prayers

1) Shelbys family is leaving in 15 days to bring her home. Pray for each family member and for Shelby to have a easy adjustment
2)Pray that waiting families will not be discouraged by rumors and will encourage each other during this week. Pray we use this time to our advantage
3)Jason and Amber- They lost their daughter Ava this weekend. She was stillborn and it was not expected. They lost their 5 year old to a brain tumor earlier this year

Praises
1)Referrals that were obtained earlier this month
2)Families that have been home for a while now
3)Adoption is such a blessing- I am thankful for my heart being opened to such new emotions
4) March and Rebecca added Sophia to their family this weekend. I am so glad she is home and healthy. They are members of our support group and Sophia (the tummy baby) will be joined with Claire one day. New families are awesome
5)We are getting a new niece or nephew in late May

Sorry that some of these are not adoption related but I know you guys won't mind


Sunday, October 14, 2007

Family Weekend

Its really hard to write anything after writing that last post but I will try.

Since this is the family blog, I decided to share our family weekend. Michael and I have had a fantastic family weekend. Friday night we went to our second community group and continued our study on Men are like Waffles, Women are like Spaghetti. Its a great book by the way and that's not meant to be a plug. The conversation got serious and its just what I needed. It was nice to get to know our new friends better. After our time there, we ghosted 2 house' s (meaning we took buckets of candy and paper ghosts and placed them on peoples stairs) Many people in our neighborhood have participated and its been fun!



Saturday morning we drove to Ellijay and went to the Apple Festival. Once again, it was wonderful. The weather was perfect (sunny and cool) and the leaves are a changing. Fall puts us both in wonderful moods and we had good conversation on the way up. While we were there, we had a funnel cake and some grilled corn. We did not see or by any apples. We were able to see some animals and you can see that one the slide show below. We got a sign for our yard and just did a lot of wandering. For those in the adoption world, there were ladybugs everywhere. We found some good connections for gifts later down the road. We met a family who adopted a girl fro China and it was nice to talk to them. Later that morning, what did we see? SEXTUPLETS!!! They had quite a crowd and were in 3 different wagons. No, I did not take pictures because a)they aren't my kids) and b) it would annoy me as a parent if everyone took my kids pictures all their lives.. It was cool to see though. There aren't that many sextuplets, I'm sure I have seen them on TLC or something. We ended the day with a visit to the pumpkin patch. Anyway, we had a good day and had nachos for dinner (we had leftovers from Friday night community group dinner).



Sunday morning, we woke up and went to Discovery 2 class (kind of like Sunday School) and followed up with worship service. It was nice to visit with new friends between the 2 services. This week we talked about Joy. What an amazing service it was! I wish you could have all been there. It talked about the difference between happiness and joy! Loved the service!

Sunday after church, I went to get some hay and Michael and I decorated the house for Fall! We were able to get some pictures and the neighbors also came out. We had a good time visiting and had ended the day with leftovers..



Anyway, I hope you enjoy the pictures! We really did have a good weekend! I love FALL!!!