Thursday, June 26, 2014

IPad Mini Winner Coming Soon! Get your tickets NOW!

Just a reminder that our next raffle is underway and ends on Sunday!

Only 3 days left to enter!! 

Our current raffle is for the winner's choice of an IPad Mini- 16GB

OR a Kindle Fire HDX-16GB or Kindle Fire HD-32GB

Raffle tickets are 1 for $10, 3 for $20, or 8 for $50
You can use the Adopt Together link at the top of our blog to make a tax deductible donation or use our paypal link if you don't really care about that sort of thing!
And the money earned goes to Laila's orphanage donation!  So not only do you get to help this beautiful, precious little one get home to her family, but the donation goes directly to the orphanage to help them care for her friends she leaves behind.

Thank you ALL for helping our sweet girl!!! And even if you can't enter the raffle, we'd love for you to pray her home!  Her paperwork is on a desk somewhere in China's Adoption affairs waiting for our paperwork to reach it and be officially matched.  Please pray for that paperwork to get approved FAST!!!

Thanks for stopping by,
Fannie, Matt, Kate, Chengbin, & Laila

Friday, June 20, 2014

Shirts, Raffles, & An Auction!!

We have a few leftover adult size shirts from our Ephesians shirts..

Remaining shirts available for purchase are:

Adult XL- white
Adult L- grey, white
Adult M- blue
Adult S- white, grey

4t- purple

And since we keep getting questions about these shirts, particularly in kid size, we have taken it to booster for one last order.  It will need 20 shirts ordered to print.  SO, if you'd still like to have a shirt, this way you can pay on the booster page and it will get sent directly to you.

Link to order this shirt in grey or blue is here:

We also have a new design!  This one closes out on booster in a little less than a week and we need 14 more shirts ordered for it to go to print! :)

Link to order our new shirt in green or pink (adult & kids sizes) is here:

And we are happy to announce our next adoption raffle!!
By popular demand we will be raffling off your choice of prize!!

You can choose an Ipad Mini- 16GB

Or a Kindle Fire HD-32GB or Kindle Fire HDX-16GB

Raffle tickets this time around will be 1 for $10, 3 for $20, & 8 for $50
Enter to win now through Sunday June 29th at noon!

And we are now gratefully accepting donations for an upcoming online auction.  We plan to start it up on July 1st and run it through July 10th. :)

Doctors & Animals

Chengbin was scheduled for an MRI scan of his heart and liver on Monday in Atlanta, and since he had a doctor appointment with the thalassemia clinic on Tuesday, we decided to spend the rest of Monday at the Atlanta Zoo...

First the doctor & thal stuff for interested parties... ;)

He had a ferriscan of his heart and lungs under full sedation.  Transfusion dependent thalassemia patients receive a tremendous amount of iron during each transfusion.  In America, we "chelate" these patients, that is- we give them medication to take the iron out of their bodies.  In the orphanage Chengbin wasn't afforded this luxury.  Chelation medication is incredibly expensive!  So his body has accumulated a significant amount of iron over the years. 

Our liver ferriscan from October showed liver iron of 43mg/dry gram.  This is extremely high!!  He has been receiving chelation ever since then, so we are hoping to see improvement of his liver iron from this scan.  Because his iron was so high last time, it was also determined that we should check his heart to determine if any iron had deposited in it.

This little boy is incredibly silly when you get him in a hospital.  I'm telling you, he just lights up and charms the heck out of anyone he comes into contact with!!  He laughed and laughed and got so wound up that everyone in recovery commented how quiet it suddenly was when he received the anesthesia! ;)  One nurse even had to stop by ahead of the anesthesia cause she just had to see the little boy with the infectious laugh, before the anesthesia stopped it. LOL!!

It took around an hour before he was wheeled back into the room to sleep off the lasting effects of the anesthesia.  Around 30 minutes later he began to stir and about 15 minutes later we were cleared to leave.

Easy Peasy!!!  Thank goodness he does well with anesthesia.  This was our 4th time since he came home of him going under for a procedure, so I don't get nearly as nervous as I did those first couple times.

After our hospital visit we grabbed Katelynn & Grandpa from the hotel and headed to the zoo.

Ever since Chengbin began to speak English he has talked about how much he loves pandas and wants to see them...  Well, we DID see them.  In CHINA.  But by the time we got to them... let's just say our little guy was out of sorts.  I don't think he even looked at them.  So this was his chance to finally see his beloved pandas!

The zoo was shady and pretty compact.  Perfect for us, since we had only gotten 5 hours sleep the night before.  We came, we saw, we fed giraffes, and we went back to the hotel for a nice long nap before dinner. :)

Doctors & Animals in Atlanta!  Can't wait to go again in 6 mos with all 3 of my kiddos!!

Thanks for stopping by,
Fannie, Matt, Kate, & Chengbin

Monday, June 16, 2014

Logged in!!!

Since it turned out our dossier didn't get sent to China until Fri 6/6, I was surprised and happy to get the call from our agency today notifying us that we are logged in to China's system!!  Log ins have been taking 2-3 weeks so we hope that this is a good sign!!

We have not been successful so far in trying to get our expedite through and approved, but God has given me such a sense of peace about it.  While I will continue to work as hard as I can, he keeps reminding us that it isn't always about what we can do, but rather- what he can do!!

We will be meeting with a thal specialist tomorrow for Chengbin's semi-annual visit and we hope to get an updated letter to help in expediting to get her home!

Thanks for stopping by!
Fannie, Matt, Kate, Chengbin, & Laila 

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Winners, Results, & Some Unexpected Blessings!!

Well our American Girl Fundraiser started out slow, but boy did it finish strong!!!

Winners were:
American Girl Doll of her choice- Jennifer McCrary of Oklahoma City
Bitty Twins of her choice- Kelly Bloomquist of Iowa

We ended up selling $640 in tickets, and after purchasing the dolls for our prize winners, we raised another $410 toward Laila's orphanage donation!!  YEA!!!!!

And in addition to the shirt sales & raffle, we received two enormous blessings in our Adopt Together account this week! Each donation was $1000!!! To the two people who chose to keep themselves anonymous, we just want to say THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts!!  We are so grateful for your contributions.

Thank you to everyone who has made a donation, bought a shirt, or participated in the raffle.  We knew when God called us to bring Laila home that we couldn't do it alone.  We have been amazed by what God has done and continues to do through our friends & family & even kind strangers!!! 

We still have a couple months before time to get Laila and we are still going to need to raise the rest of her donation and also in province travel costs.  We have applied for grants and are waiting for responses.  Many of the grants we have applied for are matching grants.  That means that the organization will match up to a certain amount that we fundraise ourselves.  That would be amazing!!!

I saw this on a friend's Facebook page yesterday and it was just so perfectly said for how we feel.  We truly could not bring Laila home without the help of everyone around us.  She will come home because of all of you, banding together to help an orphan become a daughter.  We are so amazed and blessed by what God is doing and will continue to do for Laila!!

Thank you ALL!!!
And another raffle will begin soon!! ;)

Fannie, Matt, Kate, Chengbin, & Laila 

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Celebrating his first Kindergarten Graduation

Our little guy has come a long ways in 10 months!!  It's really unbelievable to think that he has actually completed a full school year!!
And perhaps even more impressive, our little guy who didn't know a single word in English actually passed Kindergarten and was recommended for first grade.
I think they might have been being generous...
Or maybe they are just as impressed by his progress as we are and know that when he puts his mind to something, he will make it work..
Either way, we've decided that the best thing to do is put him back in kindergarten next year.  While this was a year of maturing and learning English, we anticipate next year will be about learning to read and do math in a way that fully prepares him to succeed in first grade.
But now, some pictures of his first kindergarten graduation!!
Let's just say, Mama was warned.  His teacher stopped me after class that day to let me know, they'd been practicing for graduation and my stubborn boy thought it was funny to "bubble" his mouth while on stage.  While the teacher told the kids to smile and sing, Chengbin tried to win the award for the best "bubble".
Yep, he did the Pledge of Allegiance with the bubble.  Everyone sang a song while he did the bubble.
He is finding himself alright, and that little self, is quite mischievous!!

It's a good thing he's so cute!!!
And if there was a winner for best "bubble"...
he totally would have won.
Perhaps that's another reason to consider that second year of kindergarten!! ;)
We sure are lucky that God chose us to be his family!!  Can't wait to see what the coming years bring for him. We love our little graduate!!
Thanks for stopping by,
Fannie, Matt, Kate, & Chengbin

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

3 days left- American Girl Raffle!!

American Girl raffle is coming along great now!! We will have one drawing for the American Girl doll of 'her' choice and another drawing for the bitty baby twins set of 'her' choice!!

3 more days to enter!!!  We will draw the winners at noon on Saturday!!

1 ticket for $5, 3 tickets for $10, or 7 tickets for $20.  

You can make a tax deductible donation on our adopt together link or pay on the PayPal link above!!

Thanks so much for helping us bring Laila home! :)

Fannie, Matt, & the kiddos 

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Favorite Photo Friday

Well, it's been a rough day or so as we learned that we are gonna have to fight harder to get our baby girl home! I could go on and on about this, but setbacks are part of adoption, so we are choosing to power through and pray for just the right person to get our dossier in their hands Monday morning in China.

We have been incredibly blessed to get updated photos of Laila from an awesome team that went to visit her orphanage last week.  

This ones my favorite!!

Why? Because it shows my sweet baby girl resting comfortably on someone's shoulder.  This may not seem like a big deal, but I can assure you that for an orphan this is a tremendous blessing!!  

And we were told that the orphanage had taken her for a transfusion that day which is another amazing blessing!!!

And in the interest of my continuing truth on the blog... Here's the picture that made me cry...

Yep, for two reasons! First of all, look at how beautiful she is!! I think she gets more and more beautiful everytime I see her! And second? Her poor arms and legs!!!

We also got updated measurements...
Our little girl weighs 10 kg & is 83cm tall.  (This means she's not on the growth scale for a 3 year old in either category) 

She's a tiny one and we are going to pray her all the way home!!

Thanks for stopping by,
Fannie, Matt, Kate, & Chengbin

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Awesome News & More Awesome News!!

Well we have lots of great news today!!  
I've heard from so many people that God funds what he favors.  Well, we are already blown away by the support we have received!!!

Our first shirt fundraiser order we sold 89 shirts & sweatshirts. 
Our total costs were:
Shirts & Sweatshirts Total Cost: $780
Shipping Supplies & Shipping Cost: $196
Total Cost: $976
Total Raised: $804

The second shirt fundraiser order was for 48 more shirts!!

Shirts Total Cost: $479
Shipping Supplies & Shipping Cost: $98
Total Cost: $577
Total Raised: $479

Let me just say that all you guys that ordered shirts are Amazing!!! We are so blessed by what you've done and continue to do!!

Then there’s the donations we’ve received and the "CHANGE" HER WORLD campaign…

An anonymous family in Oklahoma sent us $200 even though they’ve never met us!
An amazing friend sent a check for $400!
We’ve received $608 in straight donations on our Adopt Together fund!


We are humbled like you wouldn’t believe.  While we still have a long way to go, our grand total once all this money is in will be $2458 toward Laila’s orphanage donation. 
We have a few more things we are working on right now to keep on fundraising. 
We have another shirt that will hit tomorrow for our friends that preferred the idea of a funny shirt!!!! ;)
We hope you all have your change jars filling up as "Change" Her World will come to an end at the end of this month!
Our American Girl raffle has been a bust, so I'll post it up one more time and if there are no takers then I'll close that out and move on to our Amazon Gift of Your Choice raffle. ;)
Lastly, we have applied for five adoption grants.  Some are straight grants, some would be matching grants, and we are very excited to see if we can serve a widow in our community for a Both Hands Project (details to follow if we are approved).
ALL SHIRTS from our first design will be mailed next week as soon as I get home from Coast Guard training.  If you haven't paid yet, please submit your payment on the paypal or Adopt Together link on our blog.  We still have around $600 worth of outstanding payments which reduces the amount that we have raised right now.
Thank you all SO much for your support!!  And perhaps the best news of the day is THIS...

That's right people, we are one step closer to China!!! :)
Thanks for stopping by!
Fannie, Matt, Katelynn, Chengbin, & Laila

Monday, June 2, 2014

When the truth is difficult...


It’s one thing to explain to everyone that Laila is sick and light heartedly present the pictures that show her as a cute and adorable little girl.  I am fine explaining that she needs to come home soon, really soon.  I can explain her condition and tell you what needs to happen all day long, but I haven’t shown you the pictures, the REAL pictures.


 Because the pictures make it too real.  The pictures make me too scared, too weak, and way too filled with fear.  Even though I have told everyone the honest truth & difficulties when it comes to raising my cute little son, I just haven’t been able to share this yet.

 I have been praying A LOT throughout this process.  Praying for more faith.   For more genuine resting-in-him-and- his-plan-so- that- I-can-sleep-at-night faith.   And at every step, he has reached out to me to show that he loves her more than I do.  That he will take care of her because she is his child first.  He has constantly reminded me that he is the reason she is alive today.  So if he loves her more than I do, then every day I must try to release my fear and have faith in him.

“Which of you, if your son asks for bread will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake?  If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”  Matthew 7:9-11
So here’s the truth… My little one gets welts all over her arms & legs as bugs bite her.  Her tummy sticks out because she needs to be transfused better.  The rash on her face kept me awake and worried for many nights wondering what it was from and knowing there was nothing I could do for her.  The bruises and needle marks on her right hand & wrist make me cry because she has to go through that pain & scary time at transfusion without me there to help her through.

But this is also the truth… He loves her.  Her heavenly Father loves her SO much and he is the one that moved my heart to read her file and get her help.  He is the one that moved friends to reach out to help me get her transfused and he is the one that ensured that all the funding was there to keep getting her transfusions until we can get to her.  He is there with her everyday in that orphanage.  He is there with her as she cries silent tears as the hospital tries to find a vein to transfuse her with.  I may not be there yet to hold her in my arms and love on her, but he is. 

God grew my heart and faith in a tremendous way during Chengbin’s adoption, and man oh man is he at work in me this time.  Humbling me to accept the help he wants his people to provide.  Humbling me to be honest about my little girl’s condition.  Every day he teaches me more and more to rest in him.  To trust him.  It’s amazing how God can use the adoption of a child to change SO MANY hearts and lives!

So there it is, the truth.  Please keep Laila in your prayers.  We are hoping to have our dossier headed to China on Wednesday and for very fast movement once it is there! :)

Thanks for stopping by,