Friday, December 28, 2007

For All My Daughters

Caught by surprise

By the wave of emotion when I look in her eyes
What I long to see there as years go by

Tears of joy and gleam of laughter
Strength and peace and happy ever after

Guess I was never quite sure of my place in this world
Until I looked in the eyes of my little girl

I have been trying to put together these words for almost two years now. Actually since right after we started the adoption process. It became easier after we watched Hope's E-mail photo scroll down, starting with the crown of her head. It was a large photo and took several seconds to load. By the time her eyes were fully revealed, I was overwhelmed with the same emotions that I had been for each of my three older daughters. If you zoom in on Hope's picture in the yellow sweater with the pink bow, you can see a little tear below her left eye. Every dad wants to dry those tears of sadness and try to see that they don't come back.


Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

Our last year celebrating Christmas without our sweet Hope Marie....

We hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas and a very special New Year. May God give you and your family much love, happiness, peace, security, and HOPE in 2008.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Slowing Down...Finally

The paperwork is done for now. What a relief!! Today we had a conference call with the CCAI Travel Department and it was very interesting. We have done extensive research in the past so we already knew a lot of the information discussed. It was very exciting to be listening to our agency acutally finally discussing our travel plans. Until we get our Travel Approval from China they will not be able to finalize anything but we could be traveling as early as the second week of January. Yeah!! We are so ready.

I would like to share a little more about Hope. We will be getting a translated history of her time in the orphanage soon but we do know a little. In August of this year they did her medical evaluations and we do have that. She looks to be very healthy although a lot of her blood work was just a tiny bit high or low. Probably can fix all that with a multi-vitamin!! We are so thankful. She weighed 22 pounds in August and was 30.31 inches tall, so she is quite small. Looking at the height and weight guidlines listed on a lot of the toddler size clothes at Wal-Mart it really looks like 2T will be the correct size to take along...even if she gained several pounds and grew a couple inches in the last 6 months. The picture of Hope in the yellow sweater with the cute pink bow was taken about the time of her medical exam which would be at about 2 1/2 years. We actually think she was at least 6 to 9 months younger in the picture where she is in the pink sweater. It appears that her head had been shaved in the photo in can probably figure that out.....

Hope has been in the Huainan Social Welfare Institute since December 14, 2004, so she was about 2 days old when found. Her name is Huai, Dong Tan. Huai is the last name given to all the children from that orphanage, they are given the surname of the orphanage where they reside. The name Dong means Winter in Chinese and the name Tan means Night, although it is just a guess we are thinking she was found on a "Winter Night". That is typically the way they name the babies...just something related to the way they look or where they were found.

The Province her orphanage is in is Anhui and according to the facts we have learned about this orphanage only 20 or so children have been adopted through our agency from there. We may be the only family traveling to this province. Often families who go to this province enter the country through the port city of Beijing. We had hoped to go to Beijing but really thought it would be during a warmer time of year! It is possible that we may go through Hong Kong. We will know more after our Travel Approval comes in. It generally takes 2 to 5 weeks for that to happen. This means we could have as little as 7 days notice before traveling. We better get ready!!!!!!!!

I'll relate more later when we know more for sure. The one thing we do know for sure is that we are falling more in love with our sweet Hope everyday. Please pray for her that she will be safe, warm, not hungry or scared while waiting for us.

We are so thankful the Lord trusts us to raise another daughter and so thankful He saw fit to bless us so richly with this beautiful little girl.

I will praise thee, O Lord among the people: and I will sing praises unto thee among the nations.

For thy mercy is great above the heavens: and thy truth reacheth unto the clouds.

Be Thou exalted, O God, above the heavens: and thy glory above all the earth:

Psalm 108: 3-5


Monday, December 17, 2007

So Much To Share

There is so much I would love to share right now, a little something is preventing me from having much time to even think....Paperwork.......... and more Paperwork. As soon as we finish the really important things that have to be done I will tell you a few more tidbits we know about Hope. We will actually get a translated history soon are really looking forward to that and hopefully some updated pictures of our sweet little girl. God is so good. He knew exactly the little girl who needed us and put us together at the perfect time.

Promise more later. Tomorrow the last 2 packages will be mailed. One to the agency with more notarized documents and one to the Huainan Social Welfare Institute where Hope lives. We are sending some warm clothes and socks ( probably too big ) a couple of toys and some candy for the nannies. ( I do not think they give candy to the children...just not sure about that ) A couple of toys and books and disposable camera with hopes they will take some pictures of Hope in her surroundings and return those to us on the day Hope becomes forever a part of this large crazy wonderful family of ours. Please Please...take some pictures we want to have as much history about her first three years as possible.


Saturday, December 15, 2007

Happy Birthday Hope!!

December 12 was our little Hope's third birthday. We really wished we could have shared that special day with her but that was impossible and so we celebrated for her here in Texas. Her Grandma bought her a cute little "Peter Rabbit" book with little windows she can open and we bought her a book I love called "First Words." The weather was terrible here that day so we did not ask our girls to get out and come to celebrate with us. We made a cake and took some pictures so that Hope will know in the future that we were thinking of her and loving her on her birthday. A couple of pictures......We Love You Hope...Happy Birthday!!! Do we look a little tired...this has been a busy busy week. More paperwork and so much excitement!!!
Also we made a very small cake that we placed in the freezer, we plan to share that with one special little lady soon!!!!!!!!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

More Pictures

We are so blessed.
Mom and big sisters are headed shopping for her more later.......

Friday, December 7, 2007

Our Precious Hope

A picture without all the pink and fluff attached. This is what we saw when we opened our email. It was a precious moment for our family.

Now.... She Has A Family

We are so in love with this little girl. She is a precious gift from God.

Which Hat Is Going To Fit?????

The BIG queston of the day is "Which Hat Is Going To Fit?" Her age is the biggest mystery to us. She can be anywhere between about 6 months old and 6 years old!!! From the very start Ronnie has insisted that when she steps on American Soil for the first time and becomes a citizen she WILL be wearing a Texas Longhorns hat. I did manage to get him to agree that a Pink Longhorns hat would be just fine. Hope's Aunt Patty and Uncle Red bought the Little Girl size hat and her Big Sister Misty bought the Baby Girl size hat. If she is ready for the Little Girls size we will probably give the Baby Girl size to my Cousin Ben's baby girl Lily who they brought home to Texas last month. If she fits the Baby Girl hat then she will get to wear her Little Girl hat when she grows into it. Either way we find out TODAY!!!

I put up a poll over on the right side of this page....Cast your vote now..........Not much time left!!!!!!!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

It's Official CCAI Has Our Referral

Today the Yahoo Group we belong to for CCAI families posted confirmation that CCAI has received all the referrals for December 9, 2005 and December 14, 2005. We are so happy and thankful. We just wanted to share our good news and to let all our friends and family know that we will be getting THE CALL tomorrow. They will start making calls around 10 AM Colorado time so our call will probably come around 11:00 or 12:00 Texas time.

Her room is almost ready and our hearts are fully ready. God's timing is always perfect and the wait will just be a distant memory this time tomorrow night.

Thank you again for all your prayers and support, and to all our family and friends we love you very much............

Ronnie and Becky

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Matches Have Arrived!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless His holy name.

Psalms 103: 1

No other words can express our feelings right now.

Ronnie and Becky

Our Little Secret

Drum Roll Please..................Her name is Hope!!!

Packages Expected Today

We still do not know for sure, but some agencies are telling their families that they are expecting a package from the CCAA today!! Whether or not those packages are this months referrals remains to be seen. If they are referrals then we would be getting THE CALL tomorrow!! It is almost unbelievable that after waiting since May 11, 2005 when our agency called to tell us that we met all of their requirements for adoption from China we could see the face of the little girl who is there waiting for us to bring her home.

We will update during the day with any new information that we get so check back with us later. We hope for and appreciate your prayers for her.

Ronnie and Becky

Monday, December 3, 2007

A Little Bit Of News...Nothing For Sure

Well...I am officially EXCITED now!!! One of the CCAI families that has our same LID talked with our agency today and said that they told her that although they do not know for sure they are hoping to see this months referrals by about Thursday. YES!! Anyway that is no guarantee but just knowing that we are so close now is great. Today Ronnie was off work too and everytime I checked in on one of the sites where families post information I would start crying in the middle of trying to read it to him. Bethany called this morning to say that she is getting very excited to find out about her little sister and I nearly cried then too.

Yes...I am officially a basket case and will remain so indefinately!!

Yesterday in church we were singing "Oh Come Let Us Adore Him" and when we got to the part where it says "We'll give Him all the glory" I nearly lost it...

Thank You Lord, for trusting us with another precious daughter.


One of Your adopted daughters...