It’s the Little Things

Dear Jesus,  

Please, please make it rain soonly. I know You can do it.  You can do EVERYTHING.

When Peter saw the clouds in the sky this morning, he started to think about rain and couldn’t stop thinking about it.  He was so excited that rain was a possibility.  He prayed about it at breakfast and put on his raincoat.

When he spotted the first drops, he was ecstatic.  He ran outside and yelled, “Jesus answered my prayer!”

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Cookies and Stitches

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We celebrated Nathan’s 15 month birthday with amazing almond butter cookies made by Hannah and a trip to Urgent Care for Peter! Peter fell and hit his head and ended up with three stitches. But he got to have a lolly pop and a cookie with his dinner when he got home, so it all ended up just fine. There’s not much that can’t be fixed with a “pop” as far as Peter’s concerned. (“Pop” is his word for lollipop.)

Here’s the recipe for Hannah’s cookies. She added almond extract, which makes them extra fabulous!

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Happy to be Home

We’ve been home for almost two weeks. We’re exhausted, we’ve been back and forth to the dr. for various illnesses, and we are longing for a new sense of “normal” and some sort of a routine. But we all just love our little Peter so. Life with him is wonderful. He’s funny and sweet and we love the new things we learn about him each day. He loves to play with his cars and his train table. And he’s just starting to walk! After many nights with very little sleep, we discovered that Peter likes to suck/chew on a washcloth while he sleeps. I knitted a little security blanket and bunny for him, but he wants nothing to do with them. A friend gave us the softest sweet little monkey for him. But he doesn’t like that either. He only wants the tattered, somewhat rough washcloth that we got from the stewardess on the airplane. Who knew?! But he’s the cutest thing ever with it hanging out of his mouth. My mom and I are already trying to figure out how to create a cute washcloth collection for him. ūüôā He probably won’t appreciate any of our embellishments, but we just have to try! Some of Peter’s favorites are: Daddy, eating, watching Hannah sing “If You’re Happy and You Know It” with the motions, his bottle, stacking cups, playing on the floor with Mary, making us laugh, and walking lessons with Emmy.

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We’re all together now- the six of us. ¬†And we love being home.

All That We Need- And More

We are feeling overwhelmed right now by God’s goodness. He has provided everything that we need, and He has used so many different people to do it. We’re amazed and humbled.

When we first set out on the adoption journey, one of the things that was difficult for Steve especially was that we had long-since given away all of our baby and toddler gear. In fact, he wrote a post about it. But over the last number of months, we have seen God provide absolutely everything we could ever need for Peter, one thing at a time. Someone had a crib mattress and sheets, but no crib. And months later, another person gave us a beautiful crib that had no mattress.

Early on, we received a whole collection of Thomas trains and tracks. And just a few weeks ago, a friend asked if we would like a Thomas the Train table, with no trains.

When I was looking at diaper bags, I saw one that would be perfect, especially for our trip. It had everything I was looking for, and I couldn’t find another quite as perfect. But it was really expensive. Steve laughed when I told him about it. And I knew we shouldn’t spend a bunch of money on a diaper bag right now. I felt guilty for even wishing for it. And then. The next day one of our friends showed up at the door with the exact diaper bag I had been looking at. She said it was in the back of her closet and she had barely even used it.

We have also been given a beautiful high chair, stroller, carseat, bed, and then there’s the bedding. I’ve been reading a lot of adoption blogs. I love reading all about different peoples’ adoption journeys. One mom told the story of how her son categorizes babies as either “airplane babies” or “tummy babies”. The mom had told her little boy that they went to China to adopt him and they brought him home on an airplane. The airplane part is what stuck in his head. So he would always ask about various people, “Is that an airplane baby?” Right after reading that story, a friend asked if we would be interested in using their son’s airplane bedding. There are even airplanes that hang from the ceiling.

RIght after Christmas, we were planning a trip to Ikea to buy a dresser for Peter’s room. It was the only thing we didn’t have. Everything else had been given to us. And the day before the Ikea trip, a friend called and said she had a dresser for us to look at. It was perfect, and there was a nightstand too.

On top of all this, we have been given clothes and toys and books, a scooter and bike helmet, and the list goes on. Not to mention that the furniture we received from a number of different families all matches! Not necessary at all, but so nice. God has used all the friends and family around us to provide us with everything we need for Peter. And so, so much more.

And to top it all off, we are going to meet Peter on my birthday. Gotcha Days (the day you receive your child) are almost always on Mondays in China. But we just saw on our itinerary that for whatever reason, our Gotcha Day is going to be on Sunday, January 27! We will get to hug and kiss our Peter a whole day early, and it will be my birthday. What could be better?

God has blessed us on this journey more than we could ever ask or imagine. Ephesians 3:20
And we are so thankful to all the people in our life that He used to do it.

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20130122-103519.jpgThank you.

Bracelets, bracelets, By Hannah

I do not want to be writing this post now. I would like to have more bracelets made, but we are leaving soon so now is the time. For a while me and my sisters have been making bracelets. Now I want to sell them to raise money for Peter’s surgery to repair his cleft lip and palate. There are only fifteen available So hurry! Hurry!:) If you want to buy one please leave a comment or e-mail us. There are also a couple bookmarks. They are each three dollars.

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Feeling Torn

Well, we are now officially waiting for our TA (travel approval)! On Tuesday, December 18, our Article 5 was issued. I still don’t really know what the Article 5 is, but I do know that it puts us one step closer to Peter. It also means that our wait for the TA began on the 18th. As I said in the last post, the TA wait takes 2-4 weeks, and we are of course hoping for two. After that, we’ll be off in no time!

Finding myself so close to going to get Peter and so close to Christmas at the same time, I’m feeling a tad torn. I love Christmas. I love this season of preparation. I love everything that we do to get ready to celebrate Christ’s birth. But this year, my heart isn’t completely in it. I am loving the celebrating that we are doing, but at the same time, I find myself in China holding Peter. Being completely “here” is a bit of a struggle. And yet, how fitting that this time of preparing our hearts and home for Peter comes when it does. We are yearning for him as we wait and prepare. And I find myself longing for Christ more deeply now than I have before during this season of anticipation.

So I am doing my best to celebrate this time of waiting and festivity.

Snowmen made by the girls

Snowmen made by the girls

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Our traditional family cookie day!

Clothes for Peter (6-12 mo.)  It makes me happy to look at them.

Clothes for Peter (6-12 mo.) It makes me happy to look at them.

Mary loves our Santa kneeling by baby Jesus.  It plays "Away in a Manger".

Mary loves our Santa kneeling by baby Jesus. It plays “Away in a Manger”.

Hannah made gingerbread men on the day we got our tree.

Hannah made gingerbread men on the day we got our tree.

All the medicine and such for the trip.  You never know what might be needed!

All the medicine and such for the trip. You never know what might be needed!

Star ornaments made by the girls.  They're a lot harder to make than they look!

Star ornaments made by the girls. They’re a lot harder to make than they look!

Peter's first pair of shoes.   These make me really happy!

Peter’s first pair of shoes. These make me really happy!

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Merry, Merry Christmas!

Getting Close!

It’s starting to feel real. ¬†We are actually going to go and get Peter. ¬†It’s really going to happen! ¬†And we are SOOOO excited! ¬†This whole time, it all seemed like a distant dream. ¬†But now it’s getting close, and it’s happening for reals!

Here’s where we are at this point. ¬†We’ve just come through a very confusing series of short waits and approvals having something to do with Peter’s visa. ¬†And now it all comes down to two things…

1. ¬†TRAVEL APPROVAL (TA) ¬†Next Tuesday, December 18, we begin the very last wait for approval! ¬†The LAST one! ¬†This approval comes from China, and it is called the Travel Approval, commonly known as the TA. ¬†¬†It is China saying that we can come and pick up Peter. ¬†It typically takes 2-4 weeks to get the TA, but lately people seem to be waiting only about 2 weeks. ¬†If our wait is only 2 weeks, we will receive our TA on January 1. ¬†Wouldn’t that be splendid?! ¬†Or at the latest, we would get our TA on January 15. ¬†That leads us to the very last thing.

2. ¬†JUMP ON THE AIRPLANE!!!¬† ¬†We don’t actually jump on the plane right away. ¬†But just about. After we get our TA, we travel with the next available travel group. ¬†Our agency, America World, takes a group to China at least once each month. ¬†So we are hoping to travel with the trip that will be scheduled for January.

We CAN’T WAIT to get there! ¬†But in the meantime, we received a spectacular gift. ¬†New pictures of ¬†Peter.

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Peter 18 months

Happy 19 month birthday, Peter! ¬†We’re coming! ¬†And soon!

Some Pictures from Thursday

I was so excited to post pictures of Peter after receiving the copy of our RA that I forgot we had these pictures of the day.

This is a few minutes after the call.  We immediately printed multiple copies of the RA.

We got right to work putting the finishing signatures and dates and such on our I-800.  The I-800 is a huge stack of paperwork that is sent to the Department of Homeland Security.  We completed it a couple of months back- the only thing that was missing was a photocopy of the RA.  We sent it off, and we will wait  3-5 weeks for I-800 approval.

We’re on our way, Peter! ¬†We’re moving as fast as we can!