Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Adoption Updates!!

For once I have fun and exciting news on the adoption front!!

China is through February, 2006!! This means that China is in MARCH and OUR log in date (LID) is in March! Do you see where I am going with this? Here is what the China Adoption Forecast site says this month:

Our prediction for LID 2006-03-13

China has 13 days of dossiers to be processed before they get to your dossier. China currently processes about 6.1 days of dossiers each month.

Our best guess: 2009-03-07

We are on the home stretch, folks. Our prayer is that this information does not change because we also have Haiti adoption news! We are going to Haiti to meet our kids on March 19th! We would really love to be able to show Patricia and Philippe Olivia's picture in person. They know about her from our letters, but this would be exciting news to be able to share with them ourselves.

The next question people are asking is if we will be bringing them home on this trip. No, we will NOT be bringing them home. It will be a long shot for them to come home anytime in 2009 since Haiti processes paperwork so slowly. Please pray over the kids and over the adoption process. We just want everybody on one continent, in one country, in one house.

One thing I am having a hard time with is that Lee's grandma was so excited about her great-grandkids and she asked about them all the time. We are so sad that she passed before they came home. Ok, here come the tears again...aaagh! This keeps happening! Anyway, let's see what happens with China...they usually do referrals in the first two weeks of the month, so some are hoping that MAYBE they are trying to get extra batches in before Chinese New Year and that MAYBE there will still be one more batch of referrals in January...

Here is what our dear friend, Linda Wilde, wrote to us after reading this blog post:

"I was just reading your adoption update. I had a picture in my mind of you and Lee 'trudging through the wilderness' and I saw God's point of view as well. He was/is taking every step with you, hiking every twist and turn, climbing over every obstacle, dismantling every wall between you and your daughter, encouraging you, stopping for a rest and a drink of water, 'Come on, you guys. Keep going. I know the way, take another step with Me.'

His point of view is a little more complex. While He trudges with you, He is also walking on a straight, smooth, clear road. There's a little girl at the end of the road, and He is walking right to her. There are many other little girls along the way, but they are not Olivia. Olivia is at the end, and He is making a beeline for her. He will reach her and pick her up in His arms, kiss her, and then hand her to you. And it has taken months and months and months--and it will take no time at all."

Monday, December 29, 2008

Remembering My Grandmother

My grandmother, Loraine Shelton, passed away suddenly the morning after Christmas. The last time Dawn and I saw her was the day after Thanksgiving, and we were planning on seeing her again, along with other members of my immediate family, on New Year's Day.

This came as quite a surprise since she seemed to be in relatively good health. She will be buried alongside her husband in Pensacola, Florida.

I was blessed to have had her as a grandmother for nearly 40 years. She was a kind and gentle woman who always put others first. She was always there to care for my grandfather, who battled numerous health problems throughout his life. She was a great example of a loving, faithful wife, and you could tell how much she adored her husband even after 60 years of marriage.

My father (you can read his tribute here) always talked about the three important things he learned from his parents: that they loved God, loved each other, and loved their children. That has been something I have always wanted to pass along to our own kids.

She will be missed. We remain saddened at her departure from this world, but I know that one day we will see her again.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Here is our December update photo of Patricia and Philippe! What a nice present!

Oh, and we FINALLY got USCIS approval to adopt from Haiti!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Superb Sunday!

Lee surprised me with tickets to White Christmas for our anniversary! It was a wonderful show! Thanks, honey!

Sorrowful Sunday...



sock monkey slippers

Saturday, December 13, 2008

China Adoption Update

We got an email from our agency that the CCAA has raised the orphanage donation fee (it is called a donation, but it is a requirement) from $3,000 to $5,100. It is supposed to make us feel better that this fee has not been raised for 10 years, but strangely, it doesn't. Anyone traveling to China as of January 1, 2009, will pay the increased fee. I am grateful we had the auction since we would have been $2,100 MORE behind if we hadn't. So....y'all gear up for a pancake breakfast next Spring, ok?

Referrals: the CCAA got through February 23, 2006. The China Adoption Forecast says this for us:
    Our prediction for LID 2006-03-13

    China has 18 days of dossiers to be processed before they get to your dossier. China currently processes about 5.3 days of dossiers each month.

    Our best guess: 2009-03-14

    Since China generally sends out referrals in a batch about once per month, your referral date could easily vary +/- one month depending on whether you just get included or just get missed in a particular batch.
Our gut instinct (right now, since for months we thought February, along with the Adoption Forecast website) is April for a referral, but I think part of that is not wanting to be disappointed anymore! The bottom line is we KNOW it will be 2009, and at this point that is all we know, so to speculate only sets us up for sadness.

Today marks the 33rd month to our 6-8 month wait (hahahaha!) And so, we trudge on through the adoption wilderness!!

Friday, December 05, 2008

I can't believe it has been a year already...

Since we first saw this picture and KNEW. She is OUR daughter!

We love you, Patricia!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Thankful Thursday!

I am thankful for the SNOW!! I am dreaming of a WHITE CHRISTMAS!!!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Friends Featured...

Please check out our friend's blog!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thankful Thursday

  • My parents marriage 60 years strong

  • My in-laws marriage 41 years strong

  • Our marriage - almost 17 years strong

  • Our faith - in Jesus and the grace and forgiveness He offers us,though we are undeserving.

  • Our home - we moved in two years ago, the day after thanksgiving. We could not have seen then the way God was paving. Now we have enough bedrooms for all three kids, and a wonderful yard for them to play in,we are one mile from a small private school, we are much closer to my parents (and were for the many months of daily hospital and home visits), we have a playroom for the kids and an office for me.

  • Our kids - they may not be "officially" adopted yet, but Patricia and Philippe have made the last year (of three) on our journey to Olivia, much easier to bear. We believe that our next year with Olivia home will make our last year to them much easier to bear. We can't believe how much we already love, love, love our three kids.

  • Our pets - having lost both of our cats this summer, we take the time to acknowledge what an impact our pets have on our lives. We are grateful for our dogs (yes, even June!)
  • Our health - boy I appreciate this more when I DON'T have it. Please, please take a moment and whisper a prayer of thanks if you are in good health.

  • Our country - regardless of political stance, we are blessed to live in this country, and like our health, we may not appreciate the freedom while we have it, but all one has to do is read the stories - like of someone going to jail for sharing their beliefs - and we may be reminded.

  • Our extended families - I have a new friend who has no family. Just hearing her sadness on this has made me appreciate more the family from which I come. I have 57 first cousins. Out of 65 grandchildren,I am number 64 so many of my cousin's kids are my age and many are grandparents. It is truly amazing to think of the lineage of the Wilson family. My mother is an only child, but her father authored the Sugar Creek Gang, all of which are still in print over 30 years after his passing. Lee's family is mostly in the south and I have appreciated having grandparents, now just grandmas, after not really knowing my own grandparents. What a blessing that Lee had all four of his grandparents well into his 30s.

  • Our aunt and unclehood- we just love being Auntie Dawn and Unta Wee to 23 nieces and nephews. 25 including marrieds.

  • Our siblings- all are celebrating many years of marriage and one is getting married in '09. They all (typically-haha) bring us joy.

  • My mama - so amazingly grateful for her dear life. What a miracle that she is still here on this earth and that we get to be with her on Thanksgiving.
  • This year- we are grateful that we survived it.
  • Quiet evenings at home- after such a challenging year, we are grateful for the "boring" life we lead and appreciate the nights where we don't have any commitments, and can just be HOME.

  • Our friends - our true friends who have always been kind, always been giving, always been consistent.

  • Our jobs - in a year where so many have lost their jobs, we are extra thankful for our employment. We have both been with our companies 10 years.

  • Our health benefits - many people work but do not have benefits. We are grateful for jobs that provide very good benefits.
  • Home office - I am so grateful for this additional benefit. I love my sunny, cheery office and my co-workers (the dogs) hardly ever get into the office politics that I have always loathed.
  • Adoption - we have learned so much about adoption and thank God for the gift. God has ordained adoption. We are adopted into His kingdom, and Joseph adopted Jesus :) he was not his biological son, yet he raised him.

  • Our blogs - that may sound crazy, but we appreciate the gift of being able to share our thoughts and stay in touch and get in touch with such wonderful people.

  • The Flip Flop Fleet - we are grateful to God for giving us this small way to contribute.

  • Thanksgiving - so thankful that in a busy, crazy, non-stop world,there is a day set aside for people to stop. Savor. Enjoy. Be. THANKFUL.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Silent Auction Pics!!

Some pre-auction photos:

Gianni stopped by! She is a senior in high school now, but I took care of her from three months to 4 years of age. She is my baby!! We love her sooo much and it was great to see her!
I made some purses and tutus to sell...
and some hats (and bibs and little nuzzly taggie quilts)

Some of the bidders (and diners!)

Folks checking out the items!

The kids all piled into one booth for a dvd and coloring! Thanks to the Strassburgs for thinking of this idea!

Thanks everyone!!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Fundraising Success!!

Thanks to everyone who came to our event yesterday and to those who couldn't make it who donated anyway!!

Will post pictures soon but may not be able to until tomorrow so wanted to get word out that it went well and we had a great time!!

THANK YOU so much for all your support and prayers for this event and for our family in general. We feel very blessed.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

32 Months!

It has been 32 months since we were entered into the CCAA.
Check out my sonogram...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Referrals for China

China only processed TWO days of paperwork this month, which I would call a monumental disappointment, but what is another month after all this time?

AWAA, our agency, received three referrals for group 249. Group 249 once had 12 families in it, so nine switched to special needs, dropped out, or "other". We are group 252, so only three travel groups ahead of us. We are guessing we will get our referral in March, but will let you know next month if that prediction changes yet again.

Monday, November 10, 2008

I should have posted this sooner, but have been so sick. Please pray for Haiti and the victims' families. Haiti is so often missed in the headlines and hopefully something good can come from this tragedy.

Haiti school collapse sparks anger, concerns
At least 88 students and adults die in the collapse of three-story school

AP updated 5:23 p.m. CT, Sun., Nov. 9, 2008

Ramon Espinosa / AP
A person climbs out from under the rubble of the collapsed school.

Ramon Espinosa / AP
Residents look on as rescue workers search for victims Saturday at collapsed school in Petionville, Haiti.

PETIONVILLE, Haiti - Angry Haitians stormed the twisted wreckage of a collapsed school on Sunday to demand rescuers speed up a search for victims, while officials worried about the stability of other buildings across this desperately poor country.
The collapse, which crushed at least 88 students and adults in a slum below a relatively wealthy enclave near Port-au-Prince, has brought global attention to a country where chronic poverty and unrest spawn chaotic jigsaws of neighborhoods and building codes are widely ignored.
President Rene Preval, who has made several visits to the disaster site, blamed continual government turnover and a lack of respect for the law for the deadly collapse at the College La Promesse.

For the complete story, please click HERE.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

New Pictures!!

There was a large group from our agency who just went down to Haiti to sign their I-600, and Katy agreed to take our kids Christmas gifts and photo pages to them!! She also got some great pictures! Thanks so much Katy! Tracy took that last one of Philippe, too!

Patricia and Philippe are in the middle of this foursome - Patricia looks positively gleeful here!

Here they are with the photo pages and letters from us. They each have a three-ring binder that the office keeps for them and they can go look at the pictures when they ask. When we send new pages, we send cardstock in plastic sheet protectors so that the pages can easily be added to the existing books.

Sounds like she gave lots of hugs to Katy. YAY!

And it sounds like our Philippe was a little more shy and illusive :)

Oh, we LOVE new picture day!! Thanks again, Katy and Tracy!

Friday, November 07, 2008

Sick + Boredom = Torture Family

I love you, Jenny!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Last Weekend...

Was really, really fun!! We were in Appleton, WI for the competition for the Land O' Lakes district of the Barbershop Harmony Society.

We were so fortunate to meet three other families in Green Bay who are also adopting from Haiti. From left to right: Brent and Jill, Jaime and Patrick (whose daughter is at Patricia and Philippe's orphanage), and our hosts for the evening, Sarah and Cliff. We are all adopting through the same agency and are in a YAHOO adoption group together. We had a great time visiting about our children and commiserating about the miseries of adopting from Haiti. Hopefully the next time we all have our picture taken together we will have our Haiti kids on our laps.

Sarah and Cliff's son, Atticus, lost his tooth while we were over there! :)

Here is a (apparently forbidden) photo of Lee's group, the Great Northern Union. There were 17 groups that competed and Lee's took FIRST PLACE and will now compete at Internationals in Anaheim next summer! They were also the only group to receive a standing ovation!
The weekend was extra great because of where we got to stay. We stayed in Appleton, with my co-worker and his family. From left to right: Chuck (Chaz, Chucky, Count Chuckula, Chaz-ma-tazz), Joe and Grapenut (I will let you guess which one is which) and Meri. Meri and I met for the first time and we had a wonderful time visiting together! (The guys got along, too!) They were gracious hosts and we hope to return the favor some time when they make their way to Minnesota!! OH! And Chuck makes the BEST chili!! Yummmmmmmmm.

Grapenut, posing for a portrait

What a fun weekend and thanks to everybody who helped make it so!
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