Tuesday, April 30, 2013

God can handle all of this...

I've read on so many blogs about how when you are doing good things Satan can and will attack.  All has been going well, I thought maybe we are just lucky or blessed or both! ;)

Oh, I was wrong...

I won't get into the details, but let me say that it is so very hard to juggle the responsibilities that come with military life and the responsibilities of family and doing the work that God has placed on our hearts.

Planning for a PCS (permanent change of station) move is stressful.  We have a lot on our plate in New York.  At the same time, we have this adoption going on.  The military likes definitive plans and it is difficult to plan in the normal sense with an international adoption.  I don't know for sure when we will go China, but I think it may happen in the middle of a PCS move and closing on our house.  Chaotic?  YES!!  More than God can help us with?  NO!!

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Phillipians 4:13

I know that God can handle all of this.  I will do my best not to stress and to keep positive and to trust in God.

"Cast your cares upon him because he cares for you." 1 Peter 5:7

Okay, my own personal pep talk is over!! ;)  Just keeping it real here!! Haha!!

Thanks for stopping by!  Please pray for LOA!!  The sooner we get that, the more clear our timeframes become.

Fannie, Matt, & Katie

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Sunday Snapshot: Spring has Sprung!

Spring has finally Sprung in NYC!! 

Saturday started off with a great event for our military kids on base!  Slides, Bounce Houses and all the treats they could handle!! :)  Our kids sacrifice a lot, so it was great to have a special event just for them.  Kate and her pals had a blast!!

And after all that fun was over, it was on to picking all the flowers for Mommy!!

Oh, I am one lucky Mommy to get all those flowers and have a great day with my girl!!!

Thanks for stopping by,
Fannie & Kate

Ni Hao Yall
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Friday, April 26, 2013

Favorite photo Friday: Alabama!!!

We recently went home shopping in Alabama.  As I've posted before, we have Coast Guard orders to be stationed down there late this summer.  Turns out the first place we went to from the airport is where we were meant to be...

We went straight to a home builder's development to look at new homes before visiting "used" homes with our realtor  the next day.  The ones he showed us weren't quite right.  For one thing, they were waaaay too close to a pasture full of cows and I could already smell what our neighborhood would be like during the summer!!!  After looking at  everything he got a text.  A house that was about to be built had to be cancelled by the potential buyer.  So we asked to see it.  It was perfect!!!

A pond to our left, a pond across the street, and a peanut farm behind us!  Only one neighbor and walking distance to go fishing???? Let's just say my hubby was sold right then and there!! :)

 We left pretty convinced but still open to the idea of a different home.  We looked at many other homes, but more and more we felt convinced that this was the house for us.  Then a friend got LOA for her son and we started looking at potential timeframes for Ben to get here.  It all just seemed to match up!  This house should be built and ready to close right around the time we are home from China with Ben.  If we had moved earlier by purchasing a "used" home, we would have needed a new homestudy, delaying Ben's arrival by months!!!

Sooooooo, We are under contract and they are building our house!!!!

Ben is gonna LOVE Alabama!!!! :)  We already do!!!!

Thanks for stopping by,
Fannie, Matt, & Katie


Forgive me for my lateness in this post!!  I am on night watch this month and just got back from 5 days of house hunting down in Alabama, but on April 15th our dossier began the journey to China!

That's right, we are FINALLY DTC!!!  So what happens now?  Good question!!  This is a long process, so I've borrowed a flowchart from a fellow waiting family to help illustrate!! :)  We have now completed step 7 and moved on to 8!!!

We requested a medical expedite which could reduce our wait for the CCCWA to approve our application and dossier, culminating in a document known as Letter Seeking Confirmation (commonly referred to as LOA- letter of approval) to be sent to our agency..  The dossier process in China is one of the biggest unknowns with regard to timeframes.  The dossier approval timelines vary wildly!!  The basic timeline is 30-120 days.  Last year many families waited even longer than 120 days.  In recent months I've seen people receive their LOA in 24 days without a medical expedite!!  That's actually pretty unheard of in Chinese adoptions until recently!!  Still others are at 85+ days and counting..

SO how long it will take from now?  We simply don't know!  What we do know is that our little boy is waiting and we pray that LOA is sooner rather than later!!  Along with submitting our dossier, we requested an update from Ben's orphanage with nine questions for them to answer for us so that we can learn a little more about our boy! :)

Thanks for stopping by!
Fannie, Matt, & Katelynn

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Paris Pics!

Well, as I'm starting to realize that I'm weeks past putting our vacation photos up... Here's the pictures from our beloved Paris!!

 Like mother, Like Daughter!!!  She became obsessed with capturing pics on her camera!  She even figured out the "manual" mode of it!  SO cute!


The light show at the Eiffel Tower began right as the rain did!!!  Note the raindrops in my lens... I'd clean it and immediately get a new drop in it!! :(

This trip was so much different than our last trip to Paris!!  We were cold last time, but this time it kept raining... We got fined 30 Euro in the metro for having the wrong ticket... And Katelynn's poor nose was so scabbed and bleeding from walking around for days in the cold...

At the end of our Paris trip we took a look at the weather forecast for our next 4 days in Rome.  Rain- 90% chance, EVERY day...

We decided to change up our vacation plans... We hopped a speed train back to Ramstein with plans to fly back to the states and drive down to Florida for week 2!

Thanks for stopping by,
Fannie, Matt, & Katie

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Sunday Snapshot: His Birthday

Monday was Ben's fifth birthday!

We thought of him all day and wondered what he was doing.  Was he treated like the special birthday boy on his special day?  Had he ever celebrated his birthday before?  Was he feeling well on his birthday?  Will he receive our photo album soon and learn about his family? 

I'm not gonna lie.  This momma shed a few tears throughout the day missing him on this very big birthday!!  Once we arrived home in NYC, we officially celebrated by baking cupcakes and singing a second Happy Birthday song to him. :)

On Monday we were on the road driving home from Florida...

Of course with the time change, he was actually celebrating his birthday during our last evening at Disneyworld.  We spent the day at Epcot and Katelynn bought a very special panda mood ring in a Chinese store in the World Showcase.  She was so proud of it and kept telling me it said she was "excited" because of her brother...  That evening she dropped her ring by accident and we were lucky enough to find it hours later.  Of course it had been stepped on and crushed.  She was so sad and crying, so we went in to a store and asked the manager if there was any way to pay for a replacement ring and either pick it up at guest relations the next day OR have it sent to our hotel.  The manager explained that the world showcase stores run separate of the disney merchandise stores, so since the shop was closed for the night there was nothing that could be done.  Kate was very, very sad to hear this and explained how it was to remind her of her brother in China.  The woman took her by the hand and led her to the stuffed friends.  She told her to pick out a minnie mouse that she would like, so Kate picked one.  She took off the tag and gave it to her.  Then she took a mickey mouse and pulled the tag off him.  She told Kate, "this is for your brother in China, okay?  Make sure he gets it!"  Kate smiled so big and promised to take care of Mickey for her brother. 

After walking out of the store we realized that it was Ben's birthday in China and he is already awake for his birthday.  That means he was given a Mickey Mouse for his birthday by Disney World!  Kate thought that was super cool!!

So, Happy Birthday to our boy!!  We miss you more than you could possibly know!  We love you so much and can't wait to celebrate your next birthday with you.

Thanks for stopping by!  Please say a prayer for our birthday boy!!
Fannie & Family

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Disneyland Paris!!

It was pretty...

There were parts of the Disneyland Paris park that were just like disneyworld, but some things were distinctly different...

Most important difference to Kate- Europeans are waaaaay more into Lilo & Stitch than Americans so Disneyland Paris had tons of Lilo & Stitch friends that we've never seen in America.

Even the pigeons were prettier there!! LOL

Buzz light year ranger spin was a wonderfully unexpected upgrade from Magic Kingdom!  The laser shooters were hand held and even the line was cooler!  Buzz uses "sketch" to show the plan to the soon-to-be space rangers.  So cute!

As photography becomes a new focus of mine, my mini-me follows suit!!! ;)

 Space Mountain Mission 2 was neat, but the original is soooooo much better!!

Alice's Curious Labyrinth maze ended up as Kate's fave thing in the entire park. Lol

The two distinct differences between Disneyland Paris and Disney World in Florida were the bitter cold temps and the smoking. Seriously, people were smoking everywhere! Even in a park line filled with small children!

It was an experience I am glad we had, but as spoiled and ungrateful as it may sound... It was an experience we were happy to move on from! Lol! Disney World is just a thousand times better! Turns our that the weather plays a major role in our Disney Parks enjoyment! Haha!!

We had a two day ticket, though, so we moved on to Disney Studios the next day...

Thanks for stopping by!