Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Thank you to our Congressman's office!

Today, our I-171H renewal was completed, and a copy faxed to us, with the original being put in the mail today as well. The first time we applied, it took 11 weeks, and the renewal took 8.5! We were beginning to worry a little, because ours expired last Friday, and we had to have the new one in order to travel next Wednesday.

We put a call in to our local congressman's office, and they got right on it, and the renewal was issued today! A big THANK YOU to Rick Boucher's office for the assistance in obtaining our renewal.

Now, pray for flight arrangements to be completed tomorrow, and for the price to be reasonable!!

Emma, mom, dad, and Josh will see you soon!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Wow!! We got new pictures of Emma

These were taken yesterday, at the People of Nanning Park. Enjoy! The little orange outfit and hairbows are some that we sent to her!!

Moving down....

Just moving pics down a bit...

1Samuel 1:27

"I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of Him." This was a part of the message in church this morning. The message was on how we should always look to God, because He always remembers us, and does what is best for us. That we should be obedient to His call, and basically, that whatever our worries, we just need to lay it down.

How fitting for what our current situation is. We are beginning a new chapter, being obedient in adoption as He has led, and at every turn, He has provided. We are on the last leg of this part of our journey to Emma Grace SiQi, and at the beginning of a whole new journey in raising another child, a child we have already claimed for the Lord!

Please join us as we make the journey to China to bring our daughter home. Although we will continue to update blogger, we have also created a travel journal, and posted a link in the right hand column. If we can access blogger from China, we will try to post something there each day, however, we know that it can't be accessed from all parts of China. In the meantime, please keep up here until we leave. The travel journal is at http://www.youbelong.net/siqi

Friday, July 27, 2007

Grateful!

Today, we received a whole set of pictures of the apartment and the area where our daughter has spent all except the first ten weeks of her life. These came from our new friend in Orlando, Patricia, and we are grateful for this view into our daughter's life. This is something most parents do not get on their adoptive children.

The Lord has blesed us through this process with many new friends that we will have for years to come. For that we are truly grateful!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Praise the Lord!!

Our TA is here!!! and only 16 days after sending in our LOA!!! We should be traveling for sure now, August 8-22 to China to bring our daughter (what a sweet word!) home!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

HAPPY BIRTHDAY...

To Emma's Baba!! Today is my wonderful hubby, Bobby's birthday!! We were hoping to get our TA today, since that would have been the best present he could have gotten. Oh well, maybe tomorrow...

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Emma is 18 months old today!!

Myspace Layouts


We are praying that before she is another month older, she is in our arms!!!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

More information from Orlando, and about Emma's foster mom

God's hand in this entire process has been totally amazing!!! I have pasted another email from the wonderful woman in Orlando who has contacted us. Now, we have information from May, who is Jing Yan's (Emma's foster mother) best friend. I just get more emotional every day. If you read this, you might need a tissue!!

"Hi Regina! Wow, that is so great you will be traveling to Orlando. Hopefully we can hook up for dinner or something. We would love to meet you and your new daughter.

I wanted to share a part of an email I just got from our foster mother's friend, May...the translator who now lives in WA state.

The photos she mentions must be on the disposable camera I sent with May a couple of months ago. She took additional photos for me when she went back to China for a visit. I asked her to take photos of the surrounding area and things that might be of interest to our daughter, Leah. Now that I know Emma is in some of the photos, it is just the motivation I need to get them developed. I will go today to get double copies and mail them to you if you send me your address.

After reading this email, you might be a little more apprehensive about when you actually get Emma. If Jing Yan is there at the time, I know she will do great. You have nothing to worry about. She and her daughter, Rong, brought Leah to the room and they were all troopers. When I watch the video now I see how much JingYan really was affected, but at the time I didn't pick up on anything. She was kind of fidgety and her hands were shaking badly. You hear horror stories of how the foster parents hold on to the kids and cry and cry. I am sure JingYan will be crying before and afterwards, but I don't think you will see it when you go. She was VERY professional - not a tear shed. When it was time to go she just told Leah good bye and waved to her...gave her a tiny hug and was on her way. Emma is probably her fourth foster child and she is now used to doing this. However, I am sure she will miss her terribly. That is the part that just breaks my heart. However, from day 1 they know that this is a part of their job. I used to cry thinking about how hard that must have been for her...now we just pray for her :) She really is an amazing woman. I think your daughter and mine have been personalities that she really bonded well with. I remember that wasn't the case with one of the other girls...she was a bit more "difficult" to care for.

That is sweet of her that she is offering to make you both a dress. She did this once before for my 3 girls. As sweet as it is, I know it is nothing I would ever wear....I will probably pass. If you end up getting one, I want to see the pictures :)

One more thing...do you remember the photo of Emma when she was really little holding the giraffe? I really think that is a toy that we mailed to Leah when she was still there. We saw it in Leah's photos in China, but it was never returned to her. That is so cool to think that Emma has played with it. She is such a cutie! Have you mailed a little backpack to Emma? The orphanage director recommended that we do that before we arrived. When Leah came to us she had it on her back and was very proud of it. She had it full of candies and treats which really helped during the time when we got her. It kept her quite entertained.

Well, let me know if you want to know anything else specifically. As I type, I am constantly interrupted by two VERY active precious little ones, but I will write when I can...just bear with me if some of it is repetitive or incoherent. It is sometimes hard getting complete sentences out when you are distracted over and over. I am not complaining though...I wouldn't trade those interruptions for anything in the world :)

I got goosebumps when you wrote about how you thought about your daughter possibly one day taking the Gospel back to China. I pray for both of my daughters that they can one day be used by God in a mighty way....perhaps in China. We talk about that often. Some good friends of ours just got back from China on a Campus Crusade "secret undercover mission trip". They said it is remarkable what is going on there in the underground churches! God really is moving!

Well, my girls are asking for food...I will talk with you again soon. Did I read you already got your travel dates? Can you give them to me again so I can write them down?

Your new friend :)

Patricia

----- Original
I have just called Jing Yan and told her the great news from you. She was sooooooooo excited and happied. She said you are the best person in the world, she is so lucky to have you to be her family (she think you are her family now J). She wanted me to ask you a favor. Could you please give her you, Kelly and the two little girls’ measurement? She would like to make Chinese clothes for you four. (As sheath with slit skirt). She wants to make for Guo Si Qi’s new mom and Guo Si Qi too. She also wants to know what color is good for you and Guo Si Qi’s new mom. Please ask Guo Si Qi’s new mom and feel free to let Jing Yan know. I would be very happy to translate this for you. It make me feel I am special J if I do this for you.
Jing Yan and her daughter are doing well. Jing Yan said it will be a little difficult to her to let Guo Si Qi left her. She will feel alone again. Now her daughter, Rong’s company is in Liuzhou city which far away from Nanning , then she said she will be ok.
Thanks forward JingYan's foster child's new family‘s email to me. I am very happy to read it. I am looking forward to hearing from her family.

Well, you mentioned if I have seen Guo Si Qi when I was in China In April. Yes, I have seen her, and I took some pictures of her and Jing Yan. Jing Yan was feeding her with food pot. I remembered that I have sent them to you.
Now here it is raining. It is good for our grass and flowers. I enjoy them very much:)Hope have great weekend.Your frends,May"

Thursday, July 19, 2007

God is Awesome!!

Today, I received an email from a wonderful woman in Orlando. It is too much to explain, so I am going to past it below: - 2 emails, actually! Long, but definitely worth the read:

Hi Regina,

What a cutie! Congratulations!! What a surprise to look at a couple of your pictures and see the same background that is in my daughter's photos. Actually, I have been trying to find you :) Your daughter's foster mother has been hoping I could.. She doesn't speak English, but a friend of hers (who you have probably seen posts about on this list), May Miller, does translations. They were best friends when May lived in China a couple of years ago. May just got back from visiting her recently and she probably spent some time with your child. Her info is in the files section if you want to read more about her - under "translator". She could help you all communicate if you don't have someone else. She was hoping we could be in contact after you brought your daughter home. My daughter, Leah, came home in Feb. 2005 at the age of 35 months. She had lived with her foster mother for two years. She was their first foster child. Where do you all live? We are in Orlando.

You will be thrilled at how well prepared your daughter will be for your arrival. We couldn't have hoped for any more. It was obvious that Leah's foster mother did a wonderful job raising her. She was a little (to say the least) spoiled, but other than that....we were so happy with how she had been taught to be kind to others, thoughtful, etc. She came right home and started helping around the house...folding clothes, straightening....it was truly amazing. Too bad that didn't last very long ;) She had been taught many manners which we thought were far beyond where many kids her age were. Know that your daughter is being loved and cared for by one of the best foster mother's in China! Her husband passed away while my daugher was living with her. His parents live close and she is very close to them. They seemed extremely close to my daughter, too. She also has a daughter who is grown, but goes home often. She loves these little ones, too. She wrote to our daughter, Leah last week and this is what she said about your daughter:

"I want to let you know we have a smart and lovely baby in our family; her personality is very similar to yours. Her name is Guo Si Qi; soon she will be adopted and live in the USA too."

Have you been in contact with them yet? I am not sure how your agency feels about contact ahead of time. Many are very strict. Will this be your first adoption from China? I sure don't want to get you in trouble. I would love to hear more about you and your family. I look forward to reading your blog when I get a little free time.

Well, have a great day!

Hi again,

I just took a few minutes to read more of your blog! I just had to write to say that I am thrilled to see that you are Christians!! As of last year...Leah's foster mother didn't believe, but the seeds have definitely been planted. She worked with Mother's Love - an orphanage in Nanning that deals more with special needs babies now - until very recently. The director, Kit Ying, and many of her staff are Christian and I know that JingYan was exposed to it alot. Leah and I pray every night for her to accept Christ. Her friend, May, is a Christian.

The feeling we had during our first trip to China when we went to our older daugher's city of Kunming was really different than when we visited Nanning. I really believe that there are many Christians in Nanning. We did not sense that in Kunming at all. I hope you have a wonderful time...I know you just can't wait!

Your story sounds a lot like ours...with our older daughter. Originally on the nsn track, looked at our agency's waiting children list just to pass the time and found our daughter's chubby little face looking at us. Isn't God good?
The second time around we just went straight to the special needs lists and found Leah....

Do you think if I get a small package together for JingYan that you could take it to her when you travel? I promise it wouldn't be big at all.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Today's update...

We received an email today from Living Hope, our adoption agency, that they received confirmation today that our letter of acceptance was received in China. It is great to know that it made it, although, the email said it was sent FedEx international express on Wednesday, and should have gotten there the next day! That means that our TA (travel approval) from China most likely will come next week instead of this week, which would also mean we need to send our VISA renewals (another $255 for the three of us), and we will be traveling August 8-22!!

Although we were praying for sooner, that is only 23 days from today, and only 16 more working days!!! Praise the Lord, Emma, mom and dad will be there soon!!

Also, a note that we still don't have new pictures!!! Maybe tomorrow.....................

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Happy Anniversary!!!

To our son, Justin, and his wife, Megan! Today, they celebrate ONE year of marriage!

Congratulations kids, we are proud of you and love you very much!!

Love,
Mom and Dad

Friday, July 13, 2007

Email today...

We received an email this morning that we should definitely have our next update and new pictures of our precious baby girl by Monday!! There had been a misunderstanding with the person in the Beijing office of our Agency. She has now called the orphanage director responsible for SiQi and been advised she would soon have her pictures.

So...we wait a few more days!!!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

LOA is on its way...

BACK TO CHINA!!!

Below we are signing, signing, and done!











We also mailed Emma another small care package today - two one piece outfits so she will be cooler, and a puppy book!

Monday, July 9, 2007

LOA - three beautiful letters!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We received a call from Living Hope today at 10:14 am ( day 33 of our wait since LOI) that our LOA is on its way to us to be signed and sent back to them!! They say we will be traveling August 8-22 to get our baby girl!!! We are so excited, and just can't believe this time has finally come!!!!

Our Visas expire August 13, so Elena said that if our TA comes by next Friday, she will have us out and back before they expire - that means we could be leaving in just over 2 weeks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Time to pack!!!