Thursday, January 28, 2010

Fundraising In February - Will You Join Us?

Help Bring Hudson Home and Bring Hope To Orphans! Baotou Social Welfare Institute - Inner Mongolia, China
We are planning a fundraiser for the month of February - the "love" month in our society and Hudson's birthday month. We are preparing to kick-off a campaign called "Show Crazy Love to Orphans". We were inspired to do this after reading the book Crazy Love by Frances Chan (you must read it if you haven't - excellent!) and after reading the blog of an 11 year old girl in Tenn. who raised over $26,000 in 9 days for orphans in Europe w/ Down's Syndrome. Our hope and prayer is to have 24 people/families join us in raising $200 each during the 28 days of Feb. If it is successful, we will have the $5,000 orphanage donation for Hudson's adoption. This donation is required by China. The money will go to Hudson's orphanage, Baotou Social Welfare Institute in Inner Mongolia, and we trust that it will be used to care for the other orphans who linger there waiting to be adopted. In addition to raising some much needed funds for our adoption, we also hope that our efforts will help to raise the awareness of the plight of orphans around the world. We have a flier ready which I can e-mail to anyone who would like to join our efforts. This could be used to decorate a "donation" can, to pass out in Sunday School, or go door to door, etc. Please prayerfully consider whether you might be willing to help us spread the word about the need of orphans in China and raise some much needed funds for Hudson's adoption. If you are not able to commit to helping us raise money, please join us in praying for God to bless our efforts!

We are 4 days from the kick-off and currently have 10 people who have committed to helping us. I know many readers of this blog are in the midst of adoption themselves and are also searching for ways to fund their own adoptions. However, there may be a few readers out there who are not adopting, and maybe you would be willing to raise money for our required donation to Hudson's orphanage and at the same time raise awareness for orphans. God commands each of us through His word to care for the orphan. Maybe He has not called you to adopt, but maybe He will lay it on your heart to help ease the financial burden on those He does call to adopt - like us, a family simply trying to provide a loving home to one more of the 147 million orphans in the world.

If you do not feel led to join the February Fundraiser by raising money, would you please consider making a one-time donation? You can click on the "Chip-in" button on the side bar. No donation is too small - or too great!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Hudson's Care Package

Hudson's care package has been put together and will leave on a jet plane on Thursday with our good friends, the Barbees. They are heading to China to adopt their new daughter Mia and agreed to pack Hudson's package in a suitcase. I promised it would be small- small is relative, right? The truck was a little bigger than I wanted, but being that Hudson is only turning 2, I was limited. Most cars and trucks are for ages 3 and up. (Sorry, Jenn - the ball does squish smaller!) I can just imagine him putting some rocks or sticks in his little dump truck and pushing it along. Oh, how I wish I could really see that now. The ball, truck, and bear are for Hudson. The cameras are being sent in hopes that his foster mom or orphanage staff will take some pictures of our little guy. Last but not least, the hard candy is a small token of our appreciation to the orphanage staff and foster parents for taking care of Hudson until we can get there. The album contains pictures of us- his new family- and his new home and room. Hopefully, someone will show him the pictures and tell him who we are.

Jenn and Bobby leave Thursday and will meet Mia on Sunday. Follow along on their journey at Our package will go with them to Guangzhou where it will be given or mailed to Ann at Red Thread who will then forward it to Hudson's orphanage, Baotou Social Welfare Institute in Inner Mongolia.

This cute little fellow has been my sleeping buddy for the last week or two. When we were preparing to adopt Lilly, I read that sleeping with an object can help your scent transfer to that object. The thought here being that the child would smell your scent on the object, recognize it when they meet you, and this would perhaps make the transition a little easier. So I slept with a stuffed duck and purple blanket for Lilly, a yellow blanket for Ellie, and now a stuffed bear for Hudson. Who knows if it works, but it does bring a little comfort to this mom's heart knowing that this little bear that I snuggled with for weeks will soon be in Hudson's little hands.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Boys - what fun!

I have always been dreadfully scared of lizards. I did not grow up with brothers so this is a little strange for me. I heard Katie screaming outside. You guessed it . . . she has her mother's fear of lizards. Little brother Fulton heads out to the porch to rescue Katie from the "lizard chasing me". Then he asks Katie to get the camera as he deliberately places this creature on his ear lobe. Katie was happy to oblige since he had just saved her!

Fulton's "mailbox": It was his ingenious idea to create a mailbox with a stick. Normally I say no to sticks in the house, but what mom could say no to this creativity!

Ethan's "mailbox": I told him as he was making it that he needed a box. He said "No, you don't." I guess we know who was right!
Can't wait to have another little boy around the house to entertain us girls and more importantly to kill the bugs and save us from the lizards who chase us! No word on our LID (log in date). Hopefully, our dossier has been logged in and we just haven't heard of the date yet. Ready to begin the countdown to LOA so we can be one step closer to our little Hudson!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Another Birthday

Happy 11th Birthday, Katie!!!!
Katie has been wanting a snow cone machine for a while now. I found this one on-line at Hawaiian Ice. On the Friday after Katie's birthday, she had a friend spend the night, and the plan was to make snowcones! Well, we plugged it in, it worked for a minute and then stopped. I tried everything and then called the company as the girls - and all of Katie's siblings - were very disappointed. The Hawaiian Ice folks were so nice and helpful. It ended up being the switch that was likely damaged during shipping. They told us to keep the old one - to use the blades when the new ones become dull. We had a new -working- machine by Monday, and we have had lots of snowcone-making in our house ever since - despite the cold temperatures outside!

We started a tradition when Shelby was little to give the children a book for each birthday. 12 years and 5 children later, we are continuing the tradition. This year Katie received the above book: Summer Days with the Moodys. Most of you have likely never heard of it. It is the 5th book in a series written by Sarah Maxwell. Sarah is a homeschool graduate, the oldest of 8 children, and is only in her twenties now. We have all 5 books, and our 3 oldest children loved each one. About a Christian homeschooling family with 6 children, the books tell of the Moody children "blessing" each other, spending time together, and having a nursing home ministry. After reading them, my children were "blessing" each other - and me- often. For instance, one night my bed was folded down with a sweet note, and on another night I found my laundry had been taken to the laundry room and sorted. Obviously these books encourage our children to put others before themselves- now that's the kind of books I want my children reading! The books are available on Sarah's family's website:

Friday, January 8, 2010

Dossier To China!!!

Woo Hoo!!! Today we are DTC!

One reason we are able to be DTC so quickly after receiving our I-797C approval on Monday, Jan. 4, is due to the excellent service of a courier in D.C. Carol Fredericks was recommended to us by Christian World Adoption (CWA) back in 2006 when we were paperchasing for Lilly. This is the 3rd time Carol has helped us, and I highly recommend her to all of my blog readers (what is it these days, 10? ha ha!) She is the mother of 2 little girls from China herself and knows how important these documents are. She charges $130 to have your dossier authenticated at the US State Dept. and the Chinese Embassy. The great thing about Carol is that she lets you send the immigration approval at a later date than the rest of the dossier but does not charge you an additional fee. So in our case, we paid her $130 online. . . she had all of our documents authenticated. . . then we sent all of our dossier except for the I-797C to our agency. Then when we finally received that coveted approval letter, we drove it to our Secretary of State, overnighted it to Carol who then took it in to be authenticated that same day (paid for expedited service at State Dept. and Embassy for just this one document) and then Carol overnighted it to our agency . . .all that was done from Mon. to Wed. (Our agency only mails dossiers on Fridays) There was NO additional charge for Carol's second trip to the State Dept. and the Embassy on our behalf. To me that equals Superb Service. Maybe other couriers do this as well, but I can only speak for Carol. And I speak very highly of her services. She also can help with your visas. Here is her site:

So thankful to have ALL of the paperchasing done! We are praying for a speedy LOA. With Ellie, we waited well over 100 days for our LOA so this time we hope and pray to be on the speedy track for LOA.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Belated Birthdays Galore

Happy 3rd Birthday Ellie!

Ellie had a birthday back on September 20 while we were at the beach! It was so much fun being at the beach with no homeschooling to do and with her daddy home all day for a week! I had a bad sinus infection at the time, but we still managed to celebrate thanks to Ellie's 2 oldest sisters. Shelby and Katie made her strawberry cupcakes with princess holders and balloon candies to go on top. Last year we celebrated Ellie's birthday in China so it was nice to all be together as a family this year on her special day. Ellie is a sweet, gentle, loving little girl who loves her baby dolls and loves to have books read to her. She is progressing well with her speech therapy, and we are really proud of all that she has overcome in the last year.

A Princess Party for our 2 Little Princesses:

Happy 4th Birthday Lilly!

Lilly, our spunky girl! We know it was her spunk that enabled her to survive those first 19 months in an orphanage in China with a very large VSD in need of surgical repair. She was a tiny, malnourished, and sick little girl when we first met her, but you should see her now! She is a precious little girl who is almost in constant motion. She is extremely smart and learns new things very easily. She loves to write and color and watch TV. She wants to go to kindergarten and take ballet- she asks me all the time "When can I go to kindergarten and ballet school?" (She also loves reading about Angelina Ballerina- hence the ballet school reference!) We know that God certainly has something special planned for her future!
We spent Lilly's birthday, October 17, with my aunt, uncle, and cousins. It was apple picking time where they live so we braved the unseasonably cold weather, picked lots of apples, and most importantly had lots of fun making lots of memories!

Happy 6th Birthday, Ethan!

Ethan turned 6 back on October 22 and wanted to celebrate at Chuck E. Cheese. He certainly had a blast, and his parents survived! He is being homescholed this year for the first time as before he attended a half-day kindergarten. Although I feared bringing Ethan home because he has been quite a challenge from age 2 until now, this decision has resulted in huge blessings. I am so thankful that despite my fears, I listened to God's calling. Ethan and I have grown much closer, and he has also developed closer relationships with each of his siblings. Ethan is quite an eager helper around the house. At 6, he often does his chores without being reminded- he needs to teach some of his older siblings a thing or 2 : ) Ethan is so excited about Hudson joining our family. The two boys will share bunk beds in Ethan's room- soon to be Ethan & Hudson's room. I am sure the 1st few months will be challenging, but I am confident that Ethan will be a great big brother to Hudson!

Happy 13th Birthday, Shelby!

Shelby's BIG birthday present, her horse Oreo. He arrived back in May, but I wrapped a picture of him so she would be sure to remember that he was indeed quite the 13th bday gift.

It is difficult to believe that my baby is now a teenager. Wow, that really did fly by! Shelby surprised us and decided to come into the world 5 days early on Christmas Eve. She is a delightful young lady with such a kind, loving and gentle spirit. She is laidback like her father which can sometime cause her mother to stress since I am most definitely a Type A personality. Shelby seldom gets in a hurry. . .seldom gets stressed. . .seldom gets angry. She is truly a gift from the Lord, and I am so thankful that God chose to give her to us first. I don't know that I would be the mother of almost 7 kids, if I did not have such a wonderful daughter as Shelby as the oldest of the bunch. She is a tremendous help to me and is so good with her youngest siblings. She loves the Lord and this is so evident in how she lives each and every day . . . a blessing indeed!