Saturday, December 29, 2012

Christmas Fun

What a great Christmas we have had here in NYC!  Crazy to think that this is our final one and we haven't even made it over to Manhattan to do all the traditional things.  I suspect that my night watches have caused us to break tradition!  Well, we still have a few more days to fit a little in. ;)
Here's a few glimpses into our Christmas Week...
Decorating Outside!!  We were the last on the block to get ours up, but we finally did!!

I let Matt & Katelynn upon the big present I surprised both of them with on Christmas Eve!!  It was a hit for sure!  The new WiiU is really fun, very innovative actually.  There's a whole new method of game play on the Nintendo World game alone...  Looking forward to the fun family time we will have playing it!!

Santa brought her the Sugar Rush girls that she loves!!

Daddy with the present Kate made him at school.

 After a Christmas Eve night of Nintendo World play on the WiiU, they opened another surprise from me on Christmas Day!
One of my favorite pictures, here is Katelynn and her new McKenna doll.  This was a special pic she took to show her Nanny!

The best part of this Christmas was knowing that this is the last Christmas our other little girl will spend as an orphan in China!!!  God willing, our sweet girl will be home before next Christmas!!  I thought of her all day and night.  I already find it hard to be without her, and I don't even know that I have seen her precious face yet...

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas too!!  I look forward to seeing all the pictures!!!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Adoption Update & A Visit to Santa- Sunday Snapshot

Well, we've done a lot this week!  First- the adoption news!!
We've mailed off multiple packages of paperwork... This package to the agency, that one to Oklahoma Secretary of State's office, this one to TX for a child abuse clearance... Oh so many packages have been sent off.  We're working on the home study paperwork and the dossier paperwork all at once in an effort to get things done as quickly and efficiently as possible.  Katelynn's been involved in it all, as usual!  Here's a pic of her happily waiting at the post office to mail off another package for the adoption.  So cute!

Yesterday we had our first home study visit.  After the events in CT the day before, we honestly didn't even clean up for it... We spent the night before snuggling our little girl, saddened by the knowledge that many moms and dads only a few hours away were not having that opportunity.  I had to pull myself out of the funk and focus on the positive of our life and what we were doing.  The visit went great and we were able to get our next visit scheduled for right after Christmas.  During that visit will review a draft of our home study, and we're hoping all the clearances will be back so that we have home study approval in early-mid January!

This week we also made our annual trip to visit Santa.  Here's a few pictures.

She's such an outgoing kid, but gets a little shy around "famous people" (as she explains it)!!

I find myself feeling incredibly grateful lately.  How could I not??? I am one lucky mommy!!!  I've got a great little girl and another one in China!  I can't wait to see the beautiful face of our second child!  Getting closer!!!

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Sunday, December 2, 2012

A Thought Provoking Read!

A few weeks ago, I asked to see the file of a four year old girl that has a few needs, but perhaps most significantly, she has a severe deformity of her right foot.  It is remarkable to me that she can walk on it!  Many conversations in the house since then have centered around this little girl and whether or not she is our daughter.  Her cute little smile and infectious laugh is fully implanted on my heart.  I don't know that we are the best family for her.  After all, we are both active duty Coast Guard members!  My husband is right when he says that she needs a stay at home mom that can help her in ways that I cannot.  I just know that little one needs a family!  She needs a mommy and daddy to love her, advocate for her.  Parents who will go to the ends of the earth to help her walk without pain and set her up for the best possible life she can have!  So, I put her little face on my cell phone and every time I go to unlock it, I see her and pray to God that she finds the family she deserves.
Not long after reading her file, we were looking for a book in the children's section of our local book store when I came across this.  Intrigued, I read the inner panel and decided it may be a great read for Katelynn and I.  I ended up reading the entire book in one night on my own before ever beginning it with Katie!!  I could not put it down!!!
This book tugged at my heart in so many ways.  This tells the story of a newly adopted "older child" and her quest to find a family for her best friend, whom she left behind.  It tells the story of her life as she adjusts to her new family and becomes more and more determined to find her friend, who was never lucky enough to have her club foot repaired, into a family of her own before she ages out.
I keep thinking of this little girl, the real life one, who has never had the opportunity to have her foot repaired.  Who has other things in her file that could scare off potential families, the same way it does mine.  What is to come of her?  Who will take the leap of faith and decide to love her no matter what?  There's just something about that little girl.  This book made me fearful for her.  What if she doesn't find a family?  After reading this book, I knew that I can do something for her... I can pray. 
So that's what I do!  I pray for her...  EVERY DAY.  She may not be my daughter, but she deserves to have someone out there praying for her every day.  Praying that she has enough to eat, praying that she is getting the physical therapy she needs, praying that she gets her surgery, praying that the orphanage allows her to start her education when its time, and praying that her family finds her soon.
Read the book, I know all you big hearted families will love it!!!

Progress, Family, & the Homestudy

The last week has been filled with paperwork & time with family.  My mother-in-law came in for a few days from Oklahoma and it was great to spend time with her!  Katelynn even got to show her around one of her favorite places in New York City, the American Girl store!

Kate & Nanny in the Café.

Ready to be Nanny's tour guide!

Helping Kanani with her water. :)

One last fall picture before the leaves are gone!!
I've made progress on all of our home study paperwork in a very big way!!  I have all of our paperwork complete and ready to send out with the exception of our medical paperwork which will go out on Tuesday!  Here's a picture of all the paperwork we've completed!  It is on it's way to the agency!!

Best of all, our first home study visit is scheduled for Saturday, Dec 15th!!  PROGRESS!!
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