Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christopher family Christmas

Santa indeed did come to the Christopher House. Lynnmarie did her should I wake up at 630 cry and usually we give her a cup of milk and she goes back to bed but we kept her up. We got dressed and headed 1 mile to the Waffle House for breakfast as a family. We came back and opened a lot of gifts. She got a slide (with Mickey and Pluto waiting to slide down), pjs, a magnadoodle, her first bible, 3 baby dolls, a leap frog, some art supplies and plenty more!!!! Dad had to go to work so baby and I took a nice 3 hour nap. Dad came home and we looked in our stockings and Santa was indeed good. Our dinner for Christmas was with Uncle Pete and a Japanese Steak house and the girl loved it!!!

As much as I love all the gifts and lights and magic of Christmas, I pray that the beauty of the birth of Christ always lives in her heart. She did go to church Christmas Eve and after sitting with mom and dad for a bit, she got to go to the nursery and color a picture!

We had a precious holiday with just the 3 of us and we hope you did too!




On the Train at Stone Mountain











Monday, December 21, 2009

First Christmas Party

LynnMarie goes to Mother's Morning out 2 mornings a week and its been a great experience for her. Ms. Tracy and Miss Lisa love her and gave her lots of extra cuddles when she started. LynnMarie has learned a few songs, a few signs and she even obeys Ms. Tracy. Friday was their Christmas party and they had lunch that included chicken nuggets, cheese and fruit cocktail..LynnMarie cleaned her plate and Ms. Tracy said that was the most she has ever eaten. I got to meet all of her friends and their moms and thanked the teachers for a wonderful couple of months. She has such a good time with her friends. We are hoping that lynnMarie keeps learning new words from her new friends.

I thought you guys might like to see a few pics from her party. LynnMarie has learned to say Ho HO HO this week and is singing like crazy.
















Sunday, December 13, 2009

Saturday, December 12, 2009

December 2009






December 2008- We were praying and looking forward to having LynnMarie in our arms. Lets back up December 2006, we had started the adoption process and dreamed of getting a referral.
December 2007- we were logged in and had just gotten used to the wait.
This December is beyond what I dreamed. A precious baby girl who finds joy in everything from lights to trees to making people giggle, everything we wanted and more.
Last year, LynnMarie was waiting for her mom and dad, although she didn't know that. She was in a safe place with caregivers who loved her. Months later, a lady emailed me to let me know that she had sent her a gift, a small Winnie the Pooh doll. I am thankful that my daughter was remembered.
I pray that LynnMarie finds joy in the holiday year after year. I also hope she finds the peace that comes with knowing that Jesus was born and that He is the reason we celebrate the glorious season. To know that Joseph adopted Him as his own son is also special.
What a season to celebrate. I am thankful that our daughter is home. I will always be thankful to those who cared for her and loved her while she waited for her forever family.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Monday, November 30, 2009

Thanksgiving

Thanks so much for your kind words regarding our story below..I cant help but cry happy tears everytime I read it.. My daughter is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.

Last week, we went home to Fl for Thanksgiving for the first time in 8 years. LynnMarie got plenty of cousin time and got to visit both grandmas at the same time along with a great grandma and great grandpa. Its amazing at how much joy she brings everyone.

All in all we had a great time and on Sunday, I drove from Edgewater, Fl to Atlanta,just LynnMarie and I and we did great.

We are so thankful for our daughter and all of those who have cared for her and everyone who has prayed for her!!!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

How we found our LynnMarie

Tonight we celebrate the day we found our sweet baby girl. I have been hesitant in writing this, actually just wanting to save the memory in my head. Its a long story but an amazing one. I had a personal visit from God. So obvious, so wonderful, more emotional than I could have dreamed of..

Ready to read? Here we go!




Last year, Michael and I submitted our Medical Checklist in June, expecting a match sometime in the next 12-18 months. After submitting the list, I joined our agency's Special Needs yahoo group which had some great resources.



The Tuesday before Thanksgiving there were several posts on the yahoo group about 3 new babies on our agency's page. This page is for kids who have needs that were not matched with families, most are considered unknown or more difficult needs. I read the posts and then headed to our agency's website, which I had only done 1 time before. I saw the kids they were talking about and I had never ever asked about a file before. Never, we just wanted to get matched and knew God had our child picked out and waiting for us. Then there is the fear of accepting a baby who has needs you are afraid of.



So I randomly read the profiles and thought they don't sound bad but didn't really focus on the description, just that they were all young. So I emailed the Waiting Child Program and said I had an interest in any of the 3 of them. I figured I had a better shot of 1 if I at least picked 3 right?

That night, I commented to some of the group members and a lady sent me a private email asking if I was going to call about the youngest one, the 8 month old because she wanted to call but didn't want to fight over her! I quickly responded that no, I was not going to call, just an email just to give myself some options.



I told Michael what I did but we both kind of shrugged it off because we knew we were probably not even going to get to see the files. I checked my email that morning, and swear that I had 3 emails that said they were sorry but the files were being looked at by other families but thanks for your interest. Really, that was that. NO big deal, but at least I had asked to look at the file.



I finished up my cleaning and Christmas cards and headed to the post office because my Christmas cards have to go out before Thanksgiving so that you get mine first. Don't judge, I'm just crazy about Christmas like that! Got out of my car, opened the mail drop, placed my cards in, and then at 2:19pm, my cell phone rang that had the 303 area code on it. I answered the call, knowing it was my agency and worried that we didn't make it through review which I knew was a possibility. My heart sunk as I didn't want to get the phone call that our dossier has been turned down.



Then they said, Amy? I said yes? Are you still interested in looking at that file you requested yesterday? At this point, I had to get in the car and sit down. I had to ask which file, since I requested 3. The baby, the 8 month old with the joint abnormalities? I quickly replied YES YES!!! She said, Please don't get your hopes up. This baby has a lot of unknowns and her file was quickly turned down by the first family. On another note, apparently on the website, it said no calls please, only emails. Apparently everyone else called and left messages. She promised to send me the files and pics and I had until Monday to decide which meant we got longer to look at her files than most people. I called Michael and told him what was going on and to hurry up home so we could open the email together.



Michael got home and we got to the laptop downstairs and began to look at her pics and files. The first picture was of her unrepaired clubbed feet and quite frankly, it was not what I expected but then we got to her sweet face and all the medical info. I kept reading arthogryposis which is something we had not heard, but googled that while we were online. We stared at her, kept reading, thinking to ourselves and talked. I was a bit unsure but as God does in so many ways, he spoke to me through lyrics. Michael went upstairs and I kept reading, and thinking what if? What if she is mentally retarded? What if her issues are so severe and we don't have the money to help her? One of the medical reports said that the size of her head showed poor brain development. And then all of a sudden I kept singing an SCC song and the lyrics "What now? What will you do now that you've found me?" Really God, the road has been crazy but another SCC song? Really? and then I got quiet and listened to him. At this point, we shared our info with 2 people and 2 people only (my sister and a great friend of me and Michael's) who both promised to pray but our hearts had been changed. But that's not it.



First I had emailed the file to 2 good adoption friends who both gave me the "I'm not sure this is the one for you". I am so thankful for their honesty. It makes the story sweeter and they are soo good friends. I called and facebooked my friend Christy, whose pediatrician we are going to use. She called me from Disney World and said "Tell me we have a baby" and gave me the info we need. My cell phone died so then we corresponded via facebook as I shared what I knew and she read the agency's website. Then I get the email, "oh Amy, I know the people who are watching her. I have been sponsoring one of the girls at the foster home and I promise if there were more to the medical issues, they would tell you".





I tell you God worked fast that night, through the house, the Internet and my heart. Michael had been up for a long time so he was upstairs resting before we left for our date night. Then Donna calls me and her mom knows a blog about a child with the same issues and are in China. Later that night, I emailed the lady who was there and got these words. " I have no idea why I am awake at 4 am, but I am and just checked your email. Email me if you have any questions" God knows why she was up. Well for the next 24 hours, we chatted via email about clubbed feet and arthrogryposis.



That night, I got odd email from an old coworker who was asking for prayer. How random is this? She sent it to all of her praying friends and had no idea we were even contemplating special needs. She said she had been born with arthogryposis, had multiple surgeries to correct her feet and was born with clenched fists, just like LynnMarie. Randomly, I got email from an awesome nurse who works 12 hour days and had physical stuff just like Lu ChunAi. Seriously, my heart was crazy that night. I kept thinking, this is my baby, this is our sweet LynnMarie.



Friday we got the call from Dr. Janista who specializes in looking at medical files for international adoptions and gave me A LOT of information. She ended the conversation by saying this was not the first time she had looked at this file and was surprised the last family did not just snatch her up. God is good!



Sunday, I was fighting satan with doubts until I got a confirming email from Don and Be that said Step in faith. You will be rewarded for that step. If this child was not meant for your family, know that God will close that door. But God opened it, don't close it for Him. More special friends who have been praying and walking this journey with us called us and told me that they wouldn't be good friends if they didn't tell me their concerns. She is Special Ed teacher and I look to her for wisdom and honesty. With the info she gave me, she also said follow Don's advice.



So Sunday morning, I called that 303 number and told them we had a daughter. She said awesome, she knew we were the parents when she looked at our file the previous week. She had been praying for us and knew we had good resources here in Atlanta.



Right after that, we had friends help with our LOI and just a few weeks later, we got our PA and were able to share our news. Then I got an email from Alycia, a new friend in Texas. Apparently she had been following ChunAi's story since the beginning and had anticipated adopting her. But God had other plans and now she adopting an older little girl (her second from China). She has become a great friend and was able to meet LynnMarie after we got home..



That's the beginning of our story. That Wednesday night, God literally opened doors right in front of me. I had never experienced that in all of my life. It was a heart changing moment for both of us. I got my story, we have our daughter..



God most seriously rocks!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

LynnMarie's Dedication

No pics, sorry. We forgot to ask if anyone would take one, sorry! This past Sunday, we and several other families dedicated our children to the Lord, promising to give them a strong foundation.

LynnMarie wore a precious dress that a friend gave us and did very well. Our church did such a nice job from the Legacy Class (not really a class, but an opportunity to think what this dedication means and what you want to pass to your children) to the amazing framed pic that included our dedication letter to her. It was a precious moment and I am so grateful we were able to do it!

It was also wonderful to see friends from the church stand with us. We are thankful for all of you!

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Taking Steps

Seventeen and a half months ago our baby was born with both feet turned backwards. Thank You God for this miracle and the work of the Swallows Nest Foster Home in Zhoungzhou, China.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

18 months

Sweet precious LynnMarie,



You turned 18 months old just a few weeks ago. True, you have experienced more in your short life than most of us ever will. I have spent a lot of time thinking about you and what it was like when you were little. Most people do not know you were just 4 pounds when you were found and that God had his big arms wrapped around you, waiting for the right people to come along.



I am so thankful you were loved on while we waited for you. But now, our journey together is still in the early stages and I want to treasure each moment we have together.



Right now, you can do so many things..You climb the stairs like no one else, you squeal with delight when you see a kitty, and you can say momma, dadda, book, byebye, ball and you have invented your own little language. You love to say Lallo but we are still working on the interpretation of that one. You started saying Lilah for delilah and can also point to your nose, eyes, tummy and feet! You are a big girl now and love to dance and bounce!



You are silly. I am soo proud of that. It is okay to wear clean diapers on your head and to make silly noises with your throat. I pray you continue to develop your own personality.



You are joyful. It doesn't take much to make you laugh. You have a friend named Bunny Bear. I am glad he does not have to go everywhere with you, but i bet he made your first day at Mothers Morning out just a little bit easier. When I am close to tears, you sense that and give me a smile that I cant help but giggle at.



Your daddy loves spending time with you. You are silly with him too and I think you may have him wrapped around your little finger too. You spend evenings with him while I work, and I am thankful for the bonding time you guys get.



You are not using a bottle anymore, just a sippy cup. You are a big girl and are using little forks and knives..You eat mostly anything, but either cantaloupe and/or watermelon are not too happy with your tummy. You take your time eating breakfast but quickly eat lunch and dinner. You like ice cream. You love your family and that makes our hearts smile. God knew at the very beginning you would be a Christopher..Thank you baby girl, for turning our world upside down and showing us love in a whole new light.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Monday, September 28, 2009

A few new pics

A little blurry but this was on the way home from church eating her Taco Bell cheese roll up. Silly girl
She got a camera like mom and dad and she knows how to use it!


Say cheese!



Tuesday, September 22, 2009

maybe one day?






Maybe one day, she will get to wear a grown up set! She can be whatever her heart desires..I had to include a pic of the rocking panda we got as a gift!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

6 months ago

6 months ago, we were part of a miracle. I will never be able to put into words what has happened since the day we walked in the room and Lu ChunAi was placed in our arms. 6 months has gone so fast yet I can not remember life without LynnMarie. We are so thankful for all of you who prayed for us, who travelled with has and have supported us. Its been the most wonderful adventure. We waited many years for the sweet gift..For those of you still waiting, keep your eyes on Him. He will reward you..The waiting is so hard. Our path was different than many others. But hold on, God's got your back. He knows the desires of your heart. He will provide..Its hard to remember that His timing is far better than your own!

Sweet LynnMarie, your giggles and smiles energize us daily. I love to pray over you. I love to hear you say Uh Oh even if I know what it means. I love to watch your blow kisses and give kisses to the baby in the mirror. You have such a sweet spirit. You have made many smile, you have already taught many about adoption, China and are breaking stereotypes on special needs..You just turned 18 months and I hope to have done half as much as you in the next year!

Baby girl, momma and daddy love you!!!