Saturday, December 31, 2011

Fireworks and Burning Trees!

I finally got to meet a fellow adoptive mom at her annual "Christmas Tree Burning and New Year's Eve Party."  When I got the invite for 4:30-8:30 pm, I knew this was my kind of party - early to bed!! 

The tree recycling commenced, and I now understand the dynamics behind the flame up of the tree in the movie Christmas Vacation!!  There was a contest to see which tree could make the biggest flame - you could tell who had watered them and who hadn't, lol.  Some caused a pillar of over 20 feet high!

The kids loved it and it really threw off some heat on a chilly night!  Marshmallows were next, and then the fireworks - it was better than the 4th of July! Rachel and Colin show off their marshmallow cooking skills.

Kyle and Clint chilled out in their easy chairs and we watched the fireworks right over our heads - so much fun!  Angie's new son Cameron, home 5 days from China, had a ball!

"Jake's" mama showed up with her cuties and Angie, Tom, and I cooked up some treats.  I took lots of pics for all the waiting kids - especially Trevor's family. :)  One of the best parts about adoption is all the wonderful families we meet! 

Thanks for awesome food and a great time, Kim S. and Hubby!  Can't wait to do it again next year!!   Happy New Year to all!

Blessings, Kim

Friday, December 30, 2011

Welcome Home Cameron!!

A day after arriving home, Angie hosted our "Adoption Chat" group for a welcome home luncheon.  Tom made grilled cheese sandwiches, the kiddos played, and we all got to meet sweet Cameron - who was full of laughter and fun!  His brothers clearly adore him, and he's already trying out his English. 

As usual, Tom and Angie amaze me with their energy and enthusiasm - despite jet lag!  Here's a pic with my girls:

Blessings, Kim

Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Gift of Love

The boys received a special gift from their Grandma this year - a quilt in their school colors with the SC emblem block on the front.  

The best part, however was the back of the quilt. Here Nana wrote the memories of every special "Nana's Day Out" that they've had over the last 18 years!  

It was a labor of love, and you can see how the boys appreciated it.


They had fun remembering trips to the Maine Coast, Moosehead Lake, and other fun destinations. What a priceless treasure to show their children someday.

Blessings, Kim

Tell it to your children, and let your children tell it to their children, and their children to the next generation.  Joel 1:3

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

"Church Ladies"

That's what hubby calls our girls.  They like their little purses and accessories, and carry their Bibles and Sunday School handouts in their little "Jesus Loves Me" carry alls.  

They're always prepared with tissue packs, chapstick, and little handmade bookmarks to encourage someone.   

They will make great moms and future "Church Ladies"!  In the meantime, we count our blessings every day.

Blessings, Kim

Monday, December 19, 2011

Can I get a witness?!

God works at Claire's boutique, ladies, I kid you not!!  Listen to our story:

I've been feeling a little down about being the longest waiting TA family in the country (not the kind of record I like to set), so I've been researching hotels, obsessing over planning travel activities, etc.  I've had lot of success with Jenny's hometown - meeting up with lots of Americans in country and even finding a restaurant with homecooked pork BBQ and delicious milkshakes!  But Sarah's province has been a bust - not much to do there - and very few people have visited or have any knowledge about the area.  Like the Chinese, "guanxi" or connections, are very important to me, as I prefer seeing the "regular life" of a province vs. the touristy stuff.  So the unknown here has been a bummer.

So last night, we ventured out to Claire's, the kiddie jewelry boutique, to use some gift cards the girls had been given.  While at the store, I noticed a young girl and her mom, and casually mentioned we were headed to Northern China.  After a short conversation, she told me she was from.....Sarah's province!  Not only that, but SARAH'S CITY!!!  She also lives within a mile of our house - amazing!  I am hoping she can tell me all the best things about our daughter's birth home!  Her daughter is also able to understand Chinese, and might be a friendly face for both our girls when they arrive.  Thank you, God!!

Later last night, I realized that if I'd been traveling, I would have missed meeting this lovely family and having this connection to our daughter's home.  God is so good, and He's working out everything - even small things - each day for our best.  It's hard to see when plans don't work out the way we expected, but then we have these moments of mercy - even at a shopping mall - that clearly show the kindness and goodness of our God in the smallest of cares and concerns.  So as we celebrate the gift of Christ and eternal life for all who believe, we can also cherish a mighty God who stoops to comfort and provide for even our smallest worries.  And did I mention?  - We found the perfect warm weather gear to cheer us up in the cold North:

Blessings, Kim

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father.  But even the hairs of your head are all numbered.  Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.  Matt. 10:29-31

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Ice Skating

We had lots of fun at the homeschool Christmas party!

Miss Annie showed up with her crew

And now it's Christmas Vacation!!! Woohoo!
Blessings, Kim

Friday, December 16, 2011

Lost Paperwork and Thankfulness

You haven't heard a big "TA announcement" because apparently some of our paperwork was misplaced and just found.  So our TA wait begins again.  My only consolation is that both of our daughters are in wonderful foster homes and so it causes them no hardship. 

We found our daughter last January, so it's hard to go over a year on our adoption - I'm trying not to think about it.  And I also know that God has perfect timing, higher ways than my ways, and knows what's best for both our little ones and our travel!  All the same, it’s disappointing – as the end of the wait is just so hard.

So to cheer myself up, here are some thankful notes:

·      I get to spend Christmas with my children, hubby, and  almost my entire family. (we’ll miss you, Kerri)

·      God has provided every cent we’ve needed - as we’ve needed it - for our second adoption – despite the tremendously rising costs!

·      dd will now be able to come with me and she’s a “master game player!”

·      I have met wonderful friends on this journey that I never knew lived in our small town.

·      I’ve watched God move in miraculous ways in the hearts of both adults and children in our small town – nearly 10 kiddos coming home to our area in the last few months!

·      Angie has blazed the trail for me in Wuhan, and given me more insight into my daughter Jenny than I could have ever hoped for. 

·      Both my daughters have loving foster mama’s.

·      I have a loving  Father in heaven that knows the number of hairs on my head, and He comforts me through the body of Christ when I get discouraged.

 And here's an adoption paraphrasing of Habakkuk 3:17-19:

Though the fig tree does not bud (I can’t make travel plans)
 and there are no grapes on the vines,  (the bank acct runs low)
though the olive crop fails  (paperwork lost)
 and the fields produce no food,  (the TA doesn’t come)
though there are no sheep in the pen 
   and no cattle in the stalls,  (no dates on the books)
yet I will rejoice in the LORD,
   I will be joyful in God my Savior.  

(because we have been blessed beyond measure with the gift of Jesus  2,000 years ago - the Light of the World - and so much more!)

 Habakkuk 3:17-19 

Blessings, Kim

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

New Pics!!

My friend Angie is in Wuhan adopting her newest son, and she was able to meet my daughter, Jenny.  She was also able to meet another little boy who will also be coming home to our small town - what a group!  Angie sent me priceless pics and video, some of which I've posted below.  I am so thankful for my "superwoman" friend - who has been tirelessly loading videos and pictures all evening on a very slow internet connection.  We love you, Angie!!

Here's a pic of the entire group:

Here's a pic of the kiddos coming home to families here:

And here's a link to a video of my precious daughter and her friend who JUST learned he had a family!
Jenny and friends

I can't thank Angie enough for these treasures while we wait.  We are so excited to meet our new daughter, and our approval can't come fast enough.  She's a serious student and I hope we don't ruin that with our silliness, lol!  Praising the Lord for these small peeks into her life!

Blessings, Kim

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

O Come Emmanuel!

Rachel had her first piano recital without her brothers - THEY got to sit through all the kiddos playing this time! :)  It was worth it to see their favorite piano teacher after a semester away at college.  The kids adore "Miss Adrian."

The grandparents came as usual and Rachel played well - a beautiful arrangement of an ancient hymn - O Come, O Come Emmanuel.  We love hearing the kids play their music - especially during Christmas time.  The music in the house really brightens the holiday!  Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas season - especially my friend Angie in China!

Blessings, Kim

Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands.  Psalm 100:1

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Setting a World Record!

SERIOUSLY!  Today we took part in "Ansley's Attempt," the effort to set a Guiness World Book record for the largest human held mosaic.  The mosaic was drawn by a little girl named Ansley who was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins Lymphoma this year, and who used her experience to bring attention to the needs of families with children undergoing cancer treatment.  Today was her last day of Chemo and she celebrated by setting the record on Blackbaud Stadium's field today. :) We saw so many old friends and had a great time catching up!  Here are the pics:

Arriving early for Krispy Kreme donuts and the Chik Filet Cow :)

The crowd is being brought down from the stands

The lines build on the field around the hot air balloon

Just a little crowded as we wait for the signal to sit and lift our tiles

We can't wait to see the mosaic on the news tonight - being underneath, you couldn't see anything.  We had to hold the tiles up for 10 minutes in order to set the record - but the crowd got it done.  What a fun morning and a great way to celebrate the end of a challenging year for a very brave little girl and her family!

Blessings, Kim

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Mama's old sled

There was a day when Santa’s sleigh was magical for me

But then I got my own – the girls pose in front of mama’s old sled 

And Dad got a lead sled 

And then a more modern sled

And then the final sled

We left Rudolph in the dust – just sayin’…

We had a great time visiting the USS Yorktown with over 400 homeschoolers today.  The kids were great, but I was alarmed at my Katie’s penchant for artillery

doesn’t she know she’s from an aviator family?!  

The tour guides were great, and we even got a science lesson where we learned that somebody puts plankton in our toothpaste and ice cream – bleh!  It will be easier to forgo ice cream in the future… 

The Medal of Honor Museum was beautifully done, and I saw the best and noblest among us portrayed there.  It’s so sad to think that they were the ones who left us early – and sobering to wonder if you could make the same sacrifice for others.

We heard the incredible story of the Doolittle Raid, and I couldn’t help but reflect on the bravery of the young men who volunteered for this dangerous mission - but also the 250,000 Chinese civilians who lost their lives as a result of helping our pilots.   A debt of honor not easily repaid.   

I was able to see a picture of Jake DeShazer, the Doolittle crewmember whose biography I recently read.  He was held captive by the Japanese, tortured and deprived of food and medical care, and after the war, returned as a missionary to Japan.  He publicly forgave his prison guards as an illustration of the forgiveness found in Christ.

It was a wonderful day full of fun and life lessons and a reminder of all the blessings we have today – and those who paid dearly for them. 


Sunday, November 27, 2011

We Are Thankful!

For Poppy...

For Nanny

 For family


For Nanny making everything look pretty at the table

For Mom's cooking and the girls' creativity

And of course, for football :)

     But most of all we are thankful for the author and provider of all our blessings!  Looking forward to Christmas and seeing the rest of our family, and praying we'll have our girls here soon.  
Blessings, Kim 

Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.  
1 Thessalonians 5:18 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Fall Fun!

We're having fun around the house with all the kiddo's home now!  

I made my yummy pumpkin roll (so much for cholesterol counts), heard all the college stories, got grade updates (Clint got a 95 on his Chemistry Exam - Wow!) and now it's time for our favorite show....

Sue Thomas, FB Eye!!  

Doesn't get any better than this. :)  Hope your Thanksgiving is just as blessed!  Kim