Posting at SHINE

After almost 3 years of posting to this blog I've decided I am going to simplify my life and put all posts (for all my children!) on my "photography blog": SHINE!
I hope to see you there!

Thursday, January 31, 2008

$50,000 for LWB

Please help a great organization!
Hi, I want to ask everyone to please take the time to donate $10 to Love Without Boundaries in the face book challenge. LWB does AMAZING work in China saving many lives and enriching the lives of orphans who wait. LWB has lost their lead in the challenge. The winner will receive $50,000 (enough to pay for 10 heart surgeries). Today is the final day. The challenge ends at noon tomorrow. Whoever has the most donors wins the big prize. It is a hassle to sign up with face book but please do it anyway. Please give to Love Without Boundaries. They are doing such an important work for the kids in China. Thank you! $10 will stretch SO far if they win this! Will you please help? You can check out their website to see what they do here.

Sign up for facebook and then GIVE $10 to LWB. K?

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

TA Tuesday!

We got it!! Hurray our Travel Approval to go get our baby Tia came today!! What an amazing day - we had already planned a "Tea" Party with Isabella's friends to celebrate going back to school - It was so perfect!! We requested a Consulate Appointment of March 3 - which means we would leave on February 20th!!!

Just to add the icing to the cake (T cakes that is!) Look who we got an updated photo of! It is amazing. She is sooooooooooooooooo beautiful!

I cannot wait to hold her, and see a cute little smile on her face (put a bow in her hair :) !! Not long baby girl, not long now :)

Sunday, January 27, 2008

In Christ Alone . . .

We sang this song in church today. I want to dedicate it to my blogger friend Lynn who has experienced so much personal loss and yet her faith is an inspiration. Lynn is in China to adopt her precious little girl Olivia tomorrow. I'm so excited for you and your family, Lynn :)

In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song
This Cornerstone, this solid ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm
What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My Comforter, my All in All
Here in the love of Christ I stand

In Christ alone, who took on flesh
Fullness of God in helpless babe
This gift of love and righteousness
Scorned by the ones He came to save
‘Til on that cross as Jesus died
The wrath of God was satisfied
For every sin on Him laid
Here in the death of Christ I live

There in the ground His body lay
Light of the world by darkness slain
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave He rose again
And as He stands in victory
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me
For I am His and He is mine
Bought with the precious blood of Christ

No guilt of life, no fear of death
This is the power of Christ in me
From life’s first cry to final breath
Jesus commands my destiny
No power of hell, no scheme of man
Can ever pluck me from His hand‘
Til He returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand

By Keith Getty, Stuart Townsend
There are several great youtube videos of this song:

Monday, January 21, 2008

Starting to Pack . . .

Having Tia's room organized gave me the motivation to pack her things for China . . . I have washed her clothes in the baby detergent and they are ready to go in the suitcase . . . . I bought diapers and wipes, some baby toys and a ladybug backpack to put them in . . . . Next comes Tia's room . . . we bought a crib on ebay and I ordered the bedding. I think I HAVE to paint this room! Hopefully we will get things in order before we leave for China, either way I am going to enjoy decorating my very last nursery :)

I love the cute hand me downs Tia has received - and of course I bought a few things also (though it is tricky not really knowing Tia's size) - thanks Sophia, Macy, Lauren & Lilli for sharing all your adorable clothes - I can't wait to see Tia wearing them!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Thanks Rebel!

My new blog design is by my good friend Rebel. We took a road trip last week and had a wonderful visit with her family and great food (yummy!). Rebel took the time to dress up my blog a little. . . . the China Dolls were originally pink but that didn't match Tia's outfit in her photo so Rebel just changed those. I love it! Thanks Rebel :)

Sunday, January 13, 2008

We've crossed another T . . . .

Our LOA was delivered to the Chinese Center of Adoption Affairs today!
We are now officially waiting for our Travel Approval!! Yes! the next "T" we cross is TA and that brings us to the last and best "T" of them all "TIA"!
Doin' the happy dance down under!!!!!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Tia's things . . . .

I finally organized Tia's room - it was sort of a dumping ground for all the extra toys and the things we were accumulating for our little Princess. It is not decorated yet, but having it clean and organized definitely gets me excited to make it the pretty room I want it to be before Tia comes home. Here are a few of Tia's things. We bought the doll almost as soon as we made our decision to adopt from China. We named her "Hope". (the Panda we bought in Tasmania and named her "Tassie")

A couple of weeks ago Isabella and I were going through some of her stuffed animals and we found this little prayer bunny with Hope stitched on the foot. It was one of those "moments" . . . . I bought two of these bunnies in 2003 and one of them went to Romania in an Easter care package to Casiana. I had forgotten all about it until we found Isabella's matching bunny. It has been exactly 5 years since we were matched with Casiana and soon we will be bringing home Kristiana Hope. Isn't it funny that we bought Casi this bunny all those years ago, and now we are on a "Journey to Hope"? 5 years makes for a very long lesson, . . . .Our hope is in you Lord.

Help bring Baby Hope home!

I am sharing a link to a blog by a mom who creates the most adorable dresses and head bands for little girls: . She just added American girl doll dresses too! I purchased this Panda Dress for Tia, and now Robin has added the "Hope" dress - I "hope" to get that later :)

Robin and her family are working hard to raise the fees to bring their baby Hope home. Please visit their blog, these dresses are darling and by purchasing you are helping to bring a little one home to her forever family! (Robin's family lives only 15 minutes from our home in Fenton Missouri!)

Sunday, January 6, 2008

These little wonders . . .

Did you feel the earth quake when the fedex guy delivered our LOA for Tia today? the poor guy must have wondered why this family of 5 was racing towards his van (that had graffiti all over it!) as he turned down our driveway. I would think it could be a scary job delivering adoption packages to adoptive families!

Delayed hope makes one sick at heart, but a fulfilled longing is a tree of life. Proverbs 13:12

Isabella took the envelope from the Fed Ex man and hugged it "YES!" she exclaimed "I have been waiting 6 years for a little sister!" and yes she has. Can you imagine being 9 years old and having waited and prayed 6 years for something?

It was mind boggling to be holding this beautiful document and check the box that said:

Yes, we accept the adoptee mentioned above. Oh yeah! we most certainly do! How very cool to know that Tia is almost ours and soon we will bring her home.
The signed letter is headed back to Utah and should arrive there on Wednesday - then on to China. Hopefully we will hear that we have Travel Approval by February first.

I have chills as the radio at this very moment began playing the song that has so much meaning to both myself and my best adoption buddy, Rebel.

Little Wonders ~ Rob Thomas
let it go, let it roll right off your shoulder
don’t you know the hardest part is over
let it in, let your clarity define you
in the end
we will only just remember how it feels
our lives are made
in these small hours
these little wonders,
these twists & turns of fate
time falls away,
in these small hours,
these small hours still remain
let it slide,
let your troubles fall behind you
let it shine
until you feel it all around you
and i don’t mind
if it’s me you need to turn to
we’ll get by,
it’s the heart that really matters in the end
our lives are made
in these small hours
these little wonders,
these twists & turns of fate
time falls away,
but these small hours,
these small hours still remain
all of my regret
will wash away some how
but i can not forget
the way i feel right now
in these small hours
these little wonders
these twists & turns of fate
these twists & turns of fate
time falls away
but these small hours
with these small wonders,
still remain,
they still remain
these little wonders
these twists & turns of fate
time falls away
but these small hours
these little wonders
still remain

Ok Rebel, I am crying . . . .

Waiting for our baby girl to be delivered . . .

I am sitting here with my eyes fixed on the driveway . . . our LOA is supposed to be here between 12-2 today. If there is an earthquake anytime in the next 2 hours and 11 minutes :) that would be Ellie in Australia, jumping up and down and most likely causing a tremor! Once I get that pretty thing it will be a whirlwind around here - Matt is coming home from work to sign and take our baby back with him. He will take it to the Fedex center that can get it out tomorrow. Luckily that one is not too far from his work (which is not too far from the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House to give you a mental picture.) CHI should have it back by Wednesday and will send it on to China ASAP, won't that be great?

Oh my goodness, I almost had a heart attack just now when a car slowed down in front of our house . . .

just wanted to share my excitement with all my adoption buddies - you're the best!

waiting for my baby girl Tia (LOA) to be "delivered" any moment . . .

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Hey! Hey! We have our LOA!!

WOOHOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Can you tell I'm so excited to share the news that we have our LOA? This is our Letter of Acceptance saying that we have been approved to adopt Tia and if we are still interested (ya think?) we need to return the letter and they will give us travel approval! We only waited 76 or 77 days (US vs. Australia dates) - The China program coordinator, Heidi said we should be able to travel right after Chinese New Year!! That also means we may be able to travel with my best adoption buddy Rebel when she goes to get her little girl Lilli! I am so happy - YEAH!!!!!!!

The LOA will arrive on Monday, when we will Fedex it right back to Washington! This is really happening . . . . Tia, we will be there in less than 2 months!!!
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Jeremiah 29:11