Evan Day

We know you have been thinking and praying for our family, and can tell- today could not have gone better! We met Evan at 11:30 this morning, and he walked in wearing his Charlotte Hornets hat and holding the picture book we sent to him early this year. When we picked him up, he pointed to our pictures! We’re grateful that the orphanage took the time to prepare him for us. They gave us a DVD of pictures and video, and a memory book. We can’t wait to look, watch and get the book translated. His nannies wrote in the notebook we sent, too, so are looking forward to getting those entries translated also.

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He was a little apprehensive about Chris at first, but now seems to prefer him. He didn’t cry when left with us, and would not let go of our hands. He is a good eater, and tonight he gave us lots and lots of laughs to treasure. Guys, we are so blessed and thankful. He’s in his crib, now, being very quiet and trying to sleep. I’m sure we are distracting him…

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We visited the grasslands of Inner Mongolia today. We drove a dune buggy, drank fermented mare’s milk, made wishes at the Oto, tried Mongolian cheeses and jerky, and ate Mongolian dinner in a yurt. It was very cool.

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Back at the hotel we played basketball with a laundry basket and some soft balls, and colored. Chris tossed Evan in the air and on the bed, which got lots of giggles.

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Tomorrow we sign the docs to make Evan officially adopted. 🙂 Hoping and praying for another awesome day!

Numbers and Letters

I completely overlooked posting a First Friday update last week, as we were heading down to Myrtle Beach for the weekend, and I had a ton on my mind. I was hoping for a phone call, an email, something to tell us that our Letter Seeking Confirmation (LSC) had been issued. I was also working for the majority of the day, and had to help Chris with some Tobu stuff before we could get on the road. I also braided my whole head to try and have some beachy waves for the weekend. Oh, and I had to drop something off at my parents’ house. So… I just completely forgot.IMG_20150703_114953491_HDR The beach was a great trip. We stayed Friday through Monday, and the long weekend was just what we all needed. It was full of family, friends, great weather, love music, fireworks, and food. What more could we ask for? Oh, and on Monday we finally got word that our LSC/ Letter Of Approval (LOA) is on it’s way! Yes! It only took 41 days. 41 very quick, but equally long days, if that’s possible.

Austin built his first sand castle, and loved holding sparklers. He brought his football and basketball everywhere we went, and asked to go to the beach every single day. I think he loved having lots of time with us, and he was not a happy camper come Tuesday when he had to go back to “school.”

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So, as for adoption updates. Lots of things happened last week. We were moved from “in review” to “to be matched”. And on Monday we found out se have soft LOA, which means our approval is heading to our agency right now! It should be on US soil this week! Next for us, is US immigration stuff. Visas, and getting our boy approved to be adopted here. From the timeframes we’re seeing of those going before us, it looks like we can expect to travel in 8-12 weeks! Yes, that’s white a range, but it just depends on if there are any hold ups, typos, holidays, etc. But, September is looking very likely, now, and we are so excited! And just to secure a September date, we went and bought ourselves some concert tickets for our anniversary. The concert is on 9/23, so, I’m willing to bet we will be given dates that overlap it! I think a little China trip is worth missing the concert, though! 😉 We can see the light at the end of this long tunnel. Please be praying that things move smoothly and quickly as we progress! To celebrate (and hopefully help our nannies prepare our son for travel), we had a toy airplane sent to the orphanage.

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So in the next 8-12 weeks, we have to finish some education, figure out our travel stuff, finish (we’ve barely started) the boys’ new room, and do our best to prepare our little family for the big change that’s coming. That, and raise about $10,000. That’s, like $1000 a week, y’all. Holy guacamole. Where do we even start? Well, tomorrow we are having another Moe’s dinner, so hopefully that helps a bit. I have this weird feeling that we won’t have nearly the turnout that we got last time, but I am hopeful that I’m wrong. If you’re in the Charlotte area and would like to come eat with us, please stop by! You don’t even have to bring the flyer this time. And we’ll do another Moe’s dinner next month, and one in September if we’re still here.  We are not doing a yard sale this weekend, but the next few weekends we definitely will be. We’re still selling puzzle pieces, hoping and praying for a grant, and you will soon see us asking if anyone has hotel and airline miles they can donate to us. We’ve also been selling random things here and there, and I am working a wedding in August. But we’re running out of ideas… and time, for that matter. Not that we’re complaining. The sooner we can bring our little guy home, the better!

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Here are our First Friday Funding Figures, on this second Tuesday of July. We’re 72% there, folks. It’s hard not to stress about that remaining 28%, but honestly I know we will be fine. The Lord will provide a way for our little family to be together, I have no doubt!

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image009 (1)image008On a completely different note, Chris’ disc golf store is open for business! Please check it out! We’ve got two birthday parties this Saturday, and some of our favorite folks are in town, so we’ll visit with them on Sunday. I feel like there’s something I’m forgetting to mention…. Guess it will have to wait until the next post!

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Google Font’s “Give You Glory”

Convos With My Two Year Old.

Have you ever watched Convos with my Two Year Old on Youtube? You should subscribe to the channel. It is hilarious and has been providing me with weekly entertainment and belly laughs for years.

It’s gotten to the point, now, with Austin, that I could probably start taping some of my own shows. Here’s a very brief snippet of a recent conversation we had one evening when Austin sees me pulling out pots and pans.

Austin: “I don’t want breakfast.”

Me: “That’s cool. Because we’re having dinner. I’m making pasta.”

Austin: “I don’t want pasta. I want grits.”

Me:“-wait, what..??”

I cannot wait for more of this. He says full sentences, now. “I don’t like those pants, Mama.” His personality is really starting to come forth too, and he is nothing, if not entertaining. I’m sure I’ll have more segments for you soon.

On Race and Family

I just finished reading this article that was written by a transracial adoptee. I encourage you to read it, whether you are adopting, adopted, a parent, or a child. If you’re a human being, and ever interact with anyone who doesn’t look like you, read it. Of course, I began reading it knowing that we are adopting a kid of a race different than our own…well, at least mostly. But I was surprised at how much resonated with me from my own experiences. Though not an adoptee, I was made up of all kinds of minority, and even in the melting pot that is California, my family stood out in our small town. Not because of our accomplishments, manicured lawns, or jobs, but because of our faces. As a child, I experienced a lot of what this young woman writes about.

Chris and I have talked about this topic many times. With him being a part of the majority, and me being a minority, our experiences and the way we look at things can be very different, whether we realize it or not. And we realize that our kids will deal things unlike what we have dealt with, especially with us adding adoption to our mix.

“Race is on your son’s radar,” I promised him. “Even if you think it’s not an issue for you, it will be for him.”

One thing we all forget to do is remember that people’s perspectives are different, and they are different for a multitude of reasons. I think a lot of times, we try to pretend like race doesn’t matter, and we wonder aloud why people are making such a big deal of it all the time. The truth is that race does matter. And that’s ok. But we have to be aware of it. For parents, that means not being afraid to talk about race issues, even if you don’t know that there is an issue. It means more than just taking your Chinese adopted child out for Chinese food and celebrating Chinese New Year. It means exposing them to people with faces that look like theirs, and while you’re at it, to other races, too- and often. It means facing issues instead of turning a blind eye to them, or making excuses for them. It means being an advocate for your child, as every parent should be. All. The. Time.

I Was Overwhelmed

My Monday morning was not going as planned. And it wasn’t even 7AM, yet. Austin was up, coughing, right as my alarm was going off. Chris got up with him, but within minutes, he was at the shower door saying, “Hi!” It’s ridiculously cute, and I love getting to see him, but that turned into him wanting to shower with me. I did (there went 5 of my extra minutes), but letting him shower with me meant that before I could get myself dressed and made up, I had to go get a diaper, lotion, and clothes on him first. There went another 5 minutes. And we had to wave bye to the school bus. Of course, we had to wait a few minutes before it passed…. As I continued (or tried to) get my hair done, Austin followed me back into the bathroom and opened all the drawers. And of course, when Austin saw me putting clips in my hair, he wanted to put clips in his hair. Since I needed both hands to do my hair, he was pushing me all around the bathroom, trying to get me to move over, lift him, do his hair, let him do mine… My time just got sucked away from me. How could so much go so wrong, and so early in the day? I needed help, but instead of stopping to give my anger and frustration to the Lord, letting go, leaning on Him…. I had a mini meltdown. I hadn’t even gotten dressed yet.

I’m ashamed of the way I raised my voice to my toddler. I was telling him how he was ruining all my plans for the morning… like he had a clue what I was talking about. I lashed out at my husband. When my husband came to take Austin, Austin screamed. His screaming and crying just further raised my blood pressure. And then I cried. I cried over the fact that I woke up early to get everything done, all for naught. I cried because the pressure that was in my head when I lay down to sleep was still with me when I woke.  I cried because I didn’t have time to create the image of myself that I try so hard to keep when I go into the office. I cried because my half-asleep husband wasn’t a mind reader. I cried because I feel like I have to manage everything by myself, even though I know I shouldn’t. I cried because of the way I acted towards my boys. I cried because I wasn’t the composed, godly woman I wished I was. I cried because I didn’t see Austin again before I left, and the last image he has of me is of me leaning over him, completely exasperated and frustrated.

I was running late, and walked out of the house, letting the door lock behind me. I remembered my jacket on this rainy morning, and stood outside waiting for my ride. I just breathed, and tried to pray my way out of the funk I was in. I hated how the morning turned out and wished I could do it all over. Right as my carpool got to my house, I realized I forgot to grab my laptop. Kinda needed that. So, had to go back in and get it. I am just thankful that my heart and mind were calming down enough that I remembered it. Of course, on the first rainy morning of the week, I was fully expecting that us leaving five minutes behind schedule, paired with the weather, meant that our commute was going to be terrible. But, oddly enough, the traffic was all going the other direction this morning, and we made excellent time. We got a good parking space, too.

I have since apologized to Chris for my behavior in the morning. I wish I could apologize to Austin before tonight, too. But that will have to wait. Chris says he’s been praying for me, so hopefully that means both of our days will get progressively better from the way I allowed them to start. I had some catch up time with a friend of ours today, and that was good for my heart, too. Without knowing lots of details about my day or our adoption, he was super encouraging, and trying to relay a sense of calm to me, and telling me to have faith.

And I feel better. I still hate how this day started, but there is not much that can be done about it, now. I’ll just keep praying my way through the day- which I should be doing anyway. Now, if I can just find a way to make a little quiet time, and to be still. To still my busyness. To still my heart…