Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Girls night out

Last night, I had the wonderful privilege of having dinner with some friends in the adoption community. One of my new friends asked me if I was still okay with the wait as it is still increasing and I quickly said YES!!!! I started thinking about this. I have not gotten down at all. I'm sure at some time, it will sink in and I will be sad, but for now I want to enjoy these moments.

I have to tell you that in Oct 2006 we went to our orientation with our agency and since then God has done great things, fabulous things. I have never experienced what some people call a "spiritual awakening" but these past months have been nothing short of amazing. I know what awesome things God has done since then, I can not even imagine what He has planned for the rest of this journey and I think that's why I am okay.

We now have a home church introduced to us from members of the adoption community. Because of that I am involved in a weekly Bible Study, participate in a book club, and have become good friends with some of these ladies. Michael has attended the mens minstry as well. We are active in our small group.

For family and friends, you know that I do not open up much. I have kept my feelings to myself. Since this adoption thing has started, its so much easier to do that. I have real friends who know me and although opening yourself up to friends can sometimes be a risk, the benefits have been awesome. I have really been changed by this and we are just waiting..God is good!

Work. I have had better relationships with patients and parents. I have met close to 100 families who have adopted from China and other countries from all around the world. I get a glimpse into their lives for just a brief moment and in that moment that they are touching my life, I hope to ease their burden of a hospital visit just a little bit. God is good! I am sooo not deserving of this. Even with Michael..when he worked with Chik Fil A, he was able to start conversations with families with Chinese Children.

First Friday-Gosh, where do start? A monthly gathering of people interested in China adoption, those waiting, and those who are home. Instant family. There are no words for this group. Susan and Dan, thank you once again for listening to God and opening these doors. Many have been touched, many seeds have been planted. Lifelong friendships have been started and that in itself is just awesome. Each month, I am ready to here stories. There is a gathering this Friday if anyone of you are in the Atlanta are and we are having dinner before hand at La Dolce Vita

Family and friends whom we have not been in contact with in years are interested in this journey. WE have received quilt squares from people we didn't expect (we have 47 to go, HINT HINT) and have had sooooo many prayers.

This blog. Wow. You have been so kind. I love my Saturday morning chats over at the Seventh Diamond (see sidebar) and I love praying for you. Although I pray daily, on Mondays I pray specifically for this process, the people involved and most importantly the children. I also pray for every person who reads this blog. Just know you are prayed for.

Love Without Boundaries- I do not how this will impact our journey but wow, do I feel connected to this group and can not wait to read more about what they are doing.

I feel like I have posted this subject before. That's okay. LynnMarie may read this one day and I want her to know that although she will not be with us for quite awhile, she has had an enormous impact on our lives.

I can not put into words how my heart and mind have been changed. I have read your stories, seen your videos, watched pictures from Gotcha Day. Many of you have been a source of hope and strength. I cant mention everyone but particulary Miss Laney, Sheridan, Shelby have encouraged me far beyond words. For those of you who have been there, done that, THANK YOU!!! Let me just tell you what an emotional person I have become. When I learned that yesterday was the 1 year anniversary of Sheridans referral, I cried. Seriously, that one little boy has brought smiles and laughs to many people during their difficult times. I remember crying at work when Laneys gotcha pics were up! I love to cry!

and to think this all started with a stingray excursion on a Disney Cruise..

God is indescribable!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Monday Meditations

Good morning friends!
So many things going on in the adoption world!
This morning I am praying for all the families who will see their children's faces for the first time soon!
travel mercies for those in China!
Karen and Bruce who will be leaving to get their son Micah very soon!!!
Those doing concurrent adoptions
Our agencies: it must be very hard for them as these wait times increase
the birth families and foster moms in China!!!
How can I pray for you??

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Random Blog

Since this blog is about family, Id like to share a blog with you about another family's blog that made me happy today!!!

Please visit today and try NOT to cry..What an awesome story and the fact that mom got to see her baby for the first time today is just awesome. I will never meet this family but they have encouraged me by their joy and faithfulness. Pray for their tiny sweet baby and learn their story!!!!

Friday, January 25, 2008


Okay, Everybody OUT OF THE POOL!

Amy has friends from college (Jackson, TN) who have settled in their post-college lives in the Memphis area. She has also met a number of people in the online adoption community who live near Memphis.

She has a long weekend off in late February, and I am going to match the weekend off and we are going to go and visit some of these people. In particular I know about....
Bridesmaid Lori (in Jackson) who was left off the wedding program.
Friend Sarah (Jackson) who we have stayed with twice and has a dog named Pepsi.
Friends Steven and Jenny ( and their boys
Friends Jeff and Valerie ( who abandoned us last Spring to return to Memphis from Atlanta.
Wedding soloist Jenny and her husband and kids
Wedding soloist (dangit, sorry, I am drawing such a blank, but I know she is married to a fireman) and her family. Sorry!
Oh yeah, and I should finally get a chance to see Tunica, MS and play some cards.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

We are going to Memphis

Hey Memphis families, email me at as we will are headed that way the end of Feb!

****** clarification- we are planning a long weekend to Memphis, thats it! SORRY**********

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

9 months LID-versary and new book

Yeah for the Christopher's! 9 months down and no, we don't know how much longer. Its just fun to count down I guess!
I had to ask Michael about the book today as I didn't want to consider it cheating. You see, I got it free at work today. I am part of a mentor program and today was the mentor recognition lunch. As a gift, they gave each one us the following book and then we read it aloud. Its too sweet and demonstrates how one person can impact so many others. For those who may never have children to call their own, it also shows how one person can affect so many young lives..Its only 6.99 at AMAZON.. Check it out!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Surrounded by Life

Interesting day with interesting thoughts. You may not find this interesting at all, but I am writing these thoughts down so I will remember them one day

I spent the afternoon at a baby shower for 2 coworkers, one is due with a little boy in about 3 weeks and the other mom to be is due in 6 weeks with a surprise baby! At the shower were babies of all ages, and a brand new one, just 2 weeks old! It was wonderful to visit with coworkers outside of work.

I met a new friend there who has adopted 5 children (1 domestic, 2 from China, 1 from Ethiopia and 1 from Russia)!!! While she was talking to me, she said "I forgot babies come this way as well". She is so involved in the adoption world she said sometimes she forgets that some babies come home from the hospital. I got home today checking blogs and another blogger said the same thing.

So I started thinking, to us adoption will mean the beginning of our family. As simple as that sounds, the more I dwell on that fact and I think, that's pretty cool!

Seriously, I have said this before, we are just in the waiting stage but adoption has brought so many new things to our lives. I can not even begin to describe all the things we have learned, the doors that have opened, the people we have met, the things God has been teaching us..


this adoption thing rocks!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Monday Meditations

I am praying for all of you, my adopting, blogging friends. I pray that we will continue to encourage one another. I pray for those families who are grieving, that they will find peace. I am specifically praying for each one of you that visits this post regardless if it is Monday or not!!! Let me know how we can pray for you!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Dateline - To Catch a Baby Broker...

Michael writing...

Tonight we got home from dropping my car at the garage (40 miles from the house because he's "our" mechanic) and found the Dateline NBC was about to start, and the episode was about corruption in international adoption.

To be up front and clear, this was an hour program focusing on corruption in Guatemala, specifically with one individual who is a coordinator for American agencies looking to match with babies there. The allegations with this guy included promising babies that were already being adopted by other families, sending records claiming prospective babies were healthy when they were malnourished and had other medical issues, and trying to broker babies that had been kidnapped from rural parts of the country, all of this just to make a profit,

A reporter from Dateline went to Guatemala City and posed as the president of a new agency looking to do business in Guatemala. They met with the guy that had so many complaints that tee U.S. Embassy had BANNED him from being involved with US adoptions. He is still working on many cases and claims to have helped place 167 babies in 2006.

When the investigators from Dateline identified themselves, he called them liars. He also said that he was no longer banned by the Embassy and that the ban had been because of a verbal argument he had with one individual there.

Hearing these stories can't help but make me think about our adoption story.

We have heard in the past week that the director of the Georgia office of our agency, Chinese Children Adoption International has stepped down to pursue other avenues. It's a reasonable expectation when you consider the gloom that hangs over the process we are committed to.

For Dick to quit makes good business sense. CCAI is an adoption agency centered on one specific niche, adoptions from China. Business is stalling, and there is no immediate hope for a change in direction. Why would anyone come to China now, considering how much harder it is to get approved than it was 5 years ago and the wait to get your child is still increasing at exponential rates. I will go this far. Chinese adoption, though having a longer livelihood than the Furby, has become a Furby. It was a fad that exploded in demand, even getting to the point of being the number one most desired item in its realm (toys/international adoptions) and now, well, the interest is going and the business is drying up.

A lot of people are saying they hope and even expect that after the Olympics this summer, the rate of referrals will increase. No one can justify this as anything other than blind hope. If anyone out there can give a factual explanation as to why things would speed up post-Olympics I'd love to here it, but from what I've been told, the numbers have been pretty consistent for the past few years, an average of 12 batches per year and an average of days per batch.

I can still only see a lot of money already invested and a wait that has little hope of being less than another 4 years.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Hospital Tips

As some of you know I am a pediatric nurse at Scottish Rite at Childrens Healthcare of Atlanta
I have been there over 6 years and wanted to tell you about my job.

The patients I work with have all kinds of medical conditions. Some of my patients have brain tumors, spina bifida, spinal cord issues, CP, seizure and other neuro issus. I also work with cranialfacial/plastic surgery patients such as cleft lip/palate, facial deformities and other things

Because of my job and the fact that we are adopting from CHina, I have gotten to know dozens of families who have come in for various surgeries. I know some of you will need surgery for your child after you get back from China and I wanted to share some inside info for you. Please let me know if I can help you in anyway.

1) EMLA or ELAMAX- this is numbing cream that can be used before shots, IV's. Ask for this or head to your doctor and ask for some before you head to the hospital. Its good and it works but sometimes taking the tape that covers it off hurts.

2) If your IV comes out, ask if it really needs to be restarted. Most antibiotics can be switched to oral forms and if your child is handling drinking okay, there's no need to stick him or her again. At the same time, you may need an IV for pain meds. Advocate for your child.

3) If your child needs morphine, ask if they can also give tylenol. Tylenol plus morphine has a much longer lasting effect

4) welcome sleeves- if you are having facial surgery, the dr may order these so your child wont pull at the stitches. Your child may hate these, but sometimes they are necessary.

5) the more you freak out, the more your child will freak out

6) each parent needs a break while in the hospital. Even if its just walking around the hallway, get some fresh air

7) once you get home, if you have any questions, don't hesitate to call your doctor.

8) anesthesia can take as little as 1 hour or as long as 12 to wear off

9) it will be okay

10) If you are having your surgery in Atlanta, please let me know

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Personal blogs

Those are great book ideas. Michael and I have both updated our personal blogs

Valtool's Box- detailed American Idol review

Taking You Back
- Michaels new 80s music blog

Random Thoughts- Im bored so if you have any questions for me, heres the place!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

First of all thanks to my secret pal for the cool bath stuff and the ornament. I wish I had my camera.
Next week Michael I will get another book for LynnMaries collection as our LID anniversary approaches..
I want to hear what you think we should get. Whats your favorite book? You can see the books we already have over at

What book should we get next?

Monday, January 14, 2008

Monday Meditations

Good morning my friends! What have you been praying for this week? I have been reading so many blogs where families seem quite discouraged. As the wait time has increased, many of us are spend our time wondering about things.
My prayer is we stay focused and to find ways to occupy our time, to find encouragement and to encourage each other. We have been waiting close to 9 months, and we know we have a long wait ahead of us.I am so thankful for each one of you. Thanks for reading our blog and let me know if you have one that I haven't read!
I pray for the orphans around the world, the birth moms and each person who is involved in this process.
I pray for each one of you who stops by and reads our blog!
I pray for our marriages as I hear adoption can be considered a stressor! Haha!
I pray for those families who experience disappointment during this time.
I pray for our hearts, that they will stay strong. We experience so many emotions during this wonderful process!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Friday, January 11, 2008

Third Fridays

For those of you in South Atlanta, Third Fridays are starting soon. Head over the Ladmans for great info! I know you have read about the wonderful support you get from groups like this so I encourage you to go.Invite your friends as this is a wonderful experience for those thinking about adoption, waiting for their referrals or families who are already home!!!!
Keep praying for Tymm and Laura! One sweet little boy brought joy and smiles to soooo many people without ever meeting them. We grieve with you but are thankful for allowing us to be a part of your journey!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

more thoughts

My plan was not to post again until tomorrow but things thought I would drop a few lines down.

As you may have realized by reading this blog, this adoption journey has also been a spiritual journey for me. So many things can not be explained in typed words, but God's hand has touched many families. I have felt his presence, I have seen his work and I have heard is voice. In my almost 33 years of life, I have never experienced anything so awesome. I prayed for sooo many things and God has been faithful.

You never know what will happen. But I have seen His faithfulness in others to know that He does great things. Sometimes we face great disappointment. Sometimes things do not go the way you expect or hope for, but we must continue to believe that His plans are far greater than ours. Some of us have a long wait ahead of us. We dont know how long, its just not soon enough. I could choose to get depressed , frustrated, sad, angry (which would be my obvious first choice) or I can remember how good my God has been to me all my life and remain patient as we begin our family. Sometimes it feels like we were the last people logged in to the China system. I promise you, God will lead us guys. I have full faith in this by watching others journey and looking at how He has done all my life. For those of you who are believers, I challenge you to grab your Bible and turn to the Old Testament. So many people suffered, still persevered and gave God all the glory. Oh how I want to be like that!!!! Its hard. LynnMarie will be home at the right time!!!!! There is a reason for this wait and I want to be productive during this wait!

So many things are in my mind. Tymm and Laura have experienced loss that I can not comprehend. I have never been so moved by friends in all my life and for that I am grateful. I am serious when I say this adoption thing has given me greater emotions. I have never been one to share whats on my heart until now. My family can tell you that. Sometimes I love these emotions and sometimes I do not. My heart and mind are overwhelmed right now. I spent the morning studying 2 Samuel with my women's group and learned a lot about King David.
On another note, I spent the afternoon with my friend Sheridan and I experienced a joy and happiness that is just awesome. I experienced a 2 year old and for that I am thankful. It made my heart smile to hear him say my name. I saw curious people stare at him and just saw things in a new light. Kim, thanks for sharing your joy with me.

Blogging friends, you guys rock!

Family and other friends: Where are your quilt squares? No pressure! Really! hahaha!

Keep praying

Prayers are still needed for our friends Tymm and Laura. They received news today that was not expected. Words can not express how I feel. Just pray please. Pray for these most special people that God will surround them with an indescribable peace.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Special Prayer Requests

Would you guys mind lifting up my friends in prayer? I dont know how much they want shared but they had a rough night and could use some prayer. I dont want to give details but please pray for them as you read this message..

See ya!


Monday, January 07, 2008

Monday Meditations

Hi guys!
Today would you specifially pray for Jenny and Abby?? Jenny had her sweet "Gotcha Day" yesterday and although she is in China, her luggage is in California. Please pray it catches up with her..

Pray for those who are discouraged by this small batch. The CCAA made it to Dec 19th and we hear that Dec 20th has a lot of dossiers..Pray we will stay encouraged.

Praise God that people are still paperchasing and that God is leading others to adopt from all over the world. That's just awesome.

Pray for the birth moms and the foster moms. After watching China's Lost Girls again, it just hit me how hard it would be to give up a child you have loved for so long.

Praise God that so many families had their first Christmas together. I have really enjoyed reading your stories and see your family pics..You will never know how encouraged I am by those

Praise God for the most amazing people I have met through this process.

Pray for our family and friends who may not understand why this is taking so long.
Let me know if you stop by today!!!!

Friday, January 04, 2008

First Friday Review

Another enjoyable Friday. We started at La Dolce Vita for dinner. We were the last ones there but still had a good time. Oh my, we had a crowd tonight. I hope someone took a picture. It was like one big happy family. This may be our normal dinner place. Everyone loved it. There were so many sweet babies there, I loved it. I had the honor of sitting next to Miss Shelby who is still not sure who I am yet, but I hope that will change one day. Her mom Donna answered lots of questions about China for us. It was nice to talk to Rebecca as well..I cant even remember all the names of everyone but if you were there, it was great to see you. Yummo food. We said our goodbyes as we knew we would not see each other for a good 10-15 minutes HaHa!

We entered First Friday and I was shocked by the turnout! There were soooo many people there. I met 2-3 couples who were in the "thinking about it" phase and what a great night they chose to attend. After an introduction, Rich and Denise Hall spoke to us. You see, they were featured in the CHina's Lost Girls video by National Geographic in 2004. They gave us some background and more info during the video. If you are thinking about adopting, are actually adopting or have adopted (heck, if you have never seen it at all), go get the video. This is the 4-5th time we have seen it and I am amazed each time. You can get it at Amazon here!

Our "story" actually involves the Halls and it was wonderful to hear their story and their visit to China!

We had another surprise at First Friday, our SW! Miss Joan got back from China with Mia just a few months ago and it was soooo nice to see her. She was very honest about her trip and how life has been since shes been home. Its been a long time since we have seen her and we know we will see her when we need to do our updates.

I didn't get to visit with everyone like I wanted, but I am so glad so many people were there.

FF friends, thanks for being a part of our journey. You may not think you are, but you are. Every month, we visit with you and we love your honesty, your smiles, your tears, your joy, sometimes your disappointments. Thanks for "getting us". Family and friends, I hope that next time you are in Atlanta, you can come with us.

First Fridays

Its that time again! Tonight is the First Fridays meeting. For more info go to
If you live anywhere near Atlanta, I encourage you to attend. Its a special time that's almost indescribable. If you have any interest in adoption, I challenge you to come! I know I have spoken about it before. Its a place to meet people who are thinking about adopting, waiting for their children, some who are paperchasing and others who are already home. Its casual and it really is like one big family. Its the coolest thing and we would love to see you there. Michael's taking his camera and hopefully we can get one of us together tonight. There is a special speaker tonight who is a really big part of our red thread. I cant wait to hear her story again. If you saw the China's Lost Girls video, you will recognize her. She is going to share her family's journey tonight. We are excited and would not miss this for the world. First Fridays has been an encouragement and something we just look forward to. Its impossible to put into words what this group has done for me. Its this group that we watched our first referral video and I waited at work for "Gotcha Day" photos. (this family knows who I am talking about). Im tired so I am writing way tooo much. God is soooo good and I thankful that FF is a part of our lives. I have to save some for after FF I guess. For those who are going who may read this, several of us are going to have dinner at La Dolce Vita between 5:30 and 6:00. Email me at if you would like to attend.

By the way, did you notice my Michael posted below?????

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

New cousin for LynnMarie

We received a call from my brother Tim this afternoon. He and his wife Mery had their ultrasound and discovered the sex of their second child (due this Spring) and it's another boy!

So Nephew Basil will have a baby brother, and LynnMarie's cousin count is as follows....

Cousin Janie (born Jan 2001)
Cousin Seth (born September 2002)
Cousin Owen (born June 2005)
Cousin Basil (born July 2005)
Cousin _____ (to be born in April or May)

The older cousins are Amy's sister Kelly's kids and Basil is my brother Tim's son.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

2008 is here

What will 2008 bring? It will bring children home to some families, some people will get their referral and others will continue to wait. But what will we do during this wait? I will choose not to be discouraged but to find things to do to better myself. This could be the year I have a significant weight loss. It could be the year that I make new friendships even better. This could be the year that I fully allow God to work in my heart to do good. A lot of people were happy to see 2007 gone, 2007 was a year full of paperwork, hope and joy.

I pray all of you have an awesome 2008. Dont forget to listen for God's whispers. You really do not want to miss out those!