Tuesday, September 30, 2014

And so we wait….

It has been a year since we saw this beautiful face.



And my breath caught  in my throat and I knew!  I knew she was meant to be my daughter.  We were still waiting to travel for Sarah but I knew we would be back for her.  

Only weeks after we came home with Sarah updated pictures showed up on the website.  And we both knew it was time to start over.  


In February we received approval to pursue her adoption.  Things moved along well.  Homestudy was updated, immigration approval was extended, dossier was prepared and authenticated and finally sent to China.  On July 3rd we were once again officially logged into the system.  And we began the wait for our LOA or letter of approval.  This wait was 42 days with Sarah.  We began to hope for possible Thanksgiving travel.  However, I began to realize that this wait was beginning to stretch.  Just watching the facebook groups and boards I knew they were coming in around 60-70 days and then we received an official email stating that the waits were stretching  60-90 days.  So we settled in.  And I really was waiting pretty well.  20 days, 30, days, 40 days, 50 days….now getting a little restless.  60 days…..it's time!  I began to communicate with some fellow moms wo had simialr log in dates.   We were all gettin restless.  And then on day 67 we got word that we were out of review!!!  Rejoicing!  All that was left was the match review stage.  I knew that typically people jumped from review to match review anywhere from one day to 2 weeks.  Most of the other families that got news that day skipped the review notice and went straight to match review.  I just knew ours would come quickly.  It did not.  One week….two weeks…..nothing.

The possibility of Thanksgiving travel passed.  We set our sights on Chirstmas.

Tomorrow marks 90 days waiting for this precious piece of paper…. a month since we were out of review.  No news except that we haven't moved.  Tomorrow starts a week long holiday in China.  So we will not get anymore news for at least a week.  

Christmas travel is not likely. 

I have cried my ugly cries and I wish I could tell you I am ok with it.  I'm not ok.  I am weary of waiting.  She is 13.  She needs to come home.  

But…..

I know that God loves Emily more than I do.  I know he doesn't waste time.  I have prayed that he will redeem this time by prerpaing her heart for us and preparing us for her.  I know his timing is perfect.  I know these things.  I am repeating them daily.  

I was also reminded this past sunday that we are not given a spirit of fear….fear for her health….fear that we won't travel in a timely manner or when we can all go….fear for our process.  We have been given a spirit of love….love for this precious girl…love for all four of my children and a spirit of self control…..controlling my fear….controling my worry.  And that is hard.  

And so we wait…day 90.  We will likely hit 100 days.  And we will strive to be patient.  And we trust in the Lord's timing and in his love for Emily.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Run for One

On Saturday August 16 Lifeline's orphan care ministry, (un)adopted, sponsored a 5k to benefit their ministry.  The event was held in several locations around the southeast including Birmingham.  Shane and I talked about maybe going over for the weekend and doing it all together, but the closer it got the more we realized it just wasn't going to work out.  But Shane had a great idea!  There was a "run where you are" option for the 5K.  He suggested we invite our family to walk with us that day and have our own family event.  He sent out an email to everyone and every single family member said yes!!  We all signed up and set the time for 8:00 am on Saturday the 16th.

Lifleine encouraged you to pick something to run for and each of us has something different we were running for .Here is Sarah working on her sign.





Sarah was running for her friends Matthew and Ben.  They are from the same orphanage as she is and will be coming home VERY soon!  Praise the Lord!  I got to hold and love on Matthew when we were there last year and I am ready to see them with their families!!!



Here we all are with our signs!


The morning of our walk we all met at the Old Craft Center to walk the trail. Sarah and LuLu got in some stretching before we started.


Shane and have said before that one of the reasons we felt called to adopt was because-To whom much is given, much is required. We don't believe that applies just to material things, because look what we have been given!! Look at all this fabulous family!!



It took us an embarrasingly long time to walk a 5K and we had a blast.  We chatted and the little kids took turns on the bike and being pushed in the stroller.  The big girls took off and beat us all.  It was so much fun….and then we had breakfast at Cracker Barrell!  




But wait!!!  That's not all.  We said all our family said yes and that includes my brother and sister in law Julie all the way in Texas!  Andy and Julie organized a walk with their friends at church and had a great turn out!  We were so excited about that and so humbled that they would do that!  


I mean how awesome is that!!!

It was a great day for a great cause and a reminder of how blessed we are as a family to have each other!! 

10 months!

As of September 4 Sarah had been with us for 10 months!!  August was a nice quiet monthwhich was good because September has been C.R.A.Z.Y.

What has Sarah been up to this month?

Well……

She walked to the lake to feed the fish.  This is oneof those things I always intend to do and always forget to do.  So one day when it was just the 2 of us we took off for the lake.  I just knew this would be the stuff that memeories are made of!  This look pretty much sums up how she felt about it.  Whatever..can we go home.  She wasn't so impressed and really just wanted to eat the bread instead of throwing it to the fish.  Of course since there were no fish it wasn't a big deal.  A little different from the last time we took bread to feed fish in China!!



She also finished up her gymnastics class this month.  She was a mess that day.  Hair everywhere, body everywhere.  Shirt soaking wet.  There is a picture of me with her getting her certificate but since she was a mess you can only imiagine what I looked like.  She loved that class though and still cries whenever we pass the shopping center it was in.  We aren't continuing right now but maybe again next summer.



She learned to cheese it up big time for the camera!  She also has finally learned what she looks like.  this is was kind of big deal to me!  She clicked on Jennys phone one day and saw a picture of herself and pointed at the phone and then pointd at herself!  It has taken 10 months but she finally recognizes herself!  Of course when I was laing with her the other night I was reading a blog about another adoptive family and there was pa picture of their daugter and she kept pointing at her and then herslef.  Still have a little work to do!




She ran through the sprinkler one more time!
video


She got a bike!  She can sit on it but riding it is another story.  We just aren't quite there yet.  She loves it though!



She worked on her reading skills or napped while reading.  One or the other!




She showed some Jag pride!!  Go Madison Central!!



And the biggest thing of all this month was…..starting school!!!




When she started down the steps that frist day I just broke into tears.  I saw in my head where she was a year ago.  I saw the pictures I have that I won't show anyone becasue they break my heart and then hear she is!  Loved and growing and going to school with her very own granmother walking her down the steps.  It was just too much!

She absolutely loves school.  She is actually saying the word school and is ready to go each day she goes!  She has stayed for lunch a day or two and loves that!  I am so very proud of my girl!





Sunday, September 7, 2014

SWEET!

I am so far behind blogging!  I will catch up eventually but for now I wanted to let you know about a fundraiser we are doing!


At our house we are passionate about two things right now- getting Emily home and caring for those we had to leave behind.  

We are making progress towards Emily and we are SO excited about the new foster home that Lifeline has opened to help the children from Sarah's orphanage.

So……

We have an idea to help us reach both goals!

Who doesn't love sweet rolls right?!?!

We call these Yummy Goodness!
Here is the idea:

Each pan of sweet rolls has 16 sweet rolls and is ready to eat or to freeze.  They are homemade from scratch with quality ingredients.

Each pan costs 
$20.00

What does that $20.00 go towards?
$2.00 will go towards our expenses to make them.
Then the remaining $18.00 will be split between the 2 things we are passionate about!
$9.00 will go towards our adoption of Emily- specifically it will go towards the orphanage donation each family is required to make.
And
$9.00 will go towards buying supplies for the new foster home that we will take with us when we travel.  We hope to fill a suitcase full of things they need.  Lifeline is getting a list together for me of the things they need the most.

Would you like some sweet rolls?

Please comment below, comment on FB, or send me an email at stacyhuff@me.com.
We will take orders all week and they will be available for pick up or delivery whatever day you choose this coming weekend
September11-13.

Here is Sarah's pretty please face


And if that doesn't work here is her
Whatchoo talkin' 'bout face


And here is our beautiful Emily who we are so ready to have home.



And sweet rolls or not please pray for our sweet Emily's heart as she is about to undergo more change than most of us face in a lifetime and please pray for the children and nannies at the foster home.





Monday, August 11, 2014

Swimming….or not

It took Sarah a few times to warm up to the pool this summer but by the end of summer she was really enjoying it.  I decided to take her by myself one evening after Shane got home.  I thought it would be a  fun way to spend a little time and get her good and tired.  It was overcast whe we left the house but I thought it would be fine.  We stopped at Walgreens to get a floatie and it started to rain but it was just a quick shower and by the time we got to the pool it had stopped.  But then the clouds rolled in.  Fast.

I got her floatie on.  I put the ring around her. I sat her on the step of the pool.  She laid down and smiled really big.  And then it thundered.  Did it?  No surely not.  If I pretned it didn't maybe it wont again.  

Nope.  More thunder.  Have to get out.  Thirty seconds after she got in.  I looked at the girl working and gave her fair warning that this would not be pretty.  And it wasn't.  No way on earth to explain to my partially deaf, no language until 6 months ago child that the thunder she can't hear means we can't swim.  It's impossible.  Trust me.

This is what she looked like all the way home.




I let Shane take over once we got in the driveway because, well honestly because she had screamed for 10 solid minutes and mamma needed a minute.  This is how things went for him.



I know it's probably not great parenting to take a picture while your child is pitching a massive fit but you've either got to laugh or cry.  She was crying plenty so we just had to stand back and let it run its course.

She recovered and she has had plenty of swim time!


9 Months

She's been home 9 months now.

Here's what we've been up to.  July was a stay at home month.  The boys were back from their big trip.  Jenny had been to youth camp.  Will did go to Super Summer during that time but other than that we pretty much did a whole lot of nothing.

We played in the rain.  We walked out to the garage with Shane one morning and it was raining.  She kept  motioning to go out on the driveway and I kept telling her no and then I just thought "What the heck!"  She LOVED IT!!!





Will continues to amaze me with how natural and relaxed he is with her.  She adores him and squeals whenever he comes home.  He comfortable keeping her and is just so great with her.



This is how she rides in the car when he is next to her.

Watching TV- SportsCenter probably


Jenny wanted to take her to the Children's Museum so we hung out there one day.  She really enjoyed it!



My lefty!
She played so hard she fell asleep on the floor.  She was organizing her wipes one minute and was sound asleep the next!



Her brother and sister dressed her up again- at least she doesn't look like a gangsta this time.



She watched Will weed eat the yard and fell asleep watching TV with Jenny.  This time it was probaly Little Couple on the TV.  





She painted.  Her face.


And then a tile at the ceramics shop.

Lefty!
She conitnued with her gym class.  To say she enjoys this would be a lie.  She LOVES it!  Everytime we pass the shopping center it is in she cries. She has really come very far and for the most part follows the directions.   Her precious teacher Mr. Jemarcus has gone back to school now so we will see how that transition is but I am very glad we attempted this this summer.  It makes me feel good about how she will do in school.  It took her a few weeks but she got the routine down really well.  She only went once a week and we missed a couple of classes so I know going several days a week at school she will get it even faster.  Physically she is doing really good too!  She is jumping and running with no problem and can even jump and twist around.  So proud of how far she has come!




Will and Jenny finished up the summer good too.  Jenny had a date with her daddy!
She has grown up so much this summer!
Will had his first college visit!  Gracious!  It wasn't an official visit, but we tagged along on a business trip to Birminghm with Shane because Will wanted to look around.  We introduced him to Mr. Beeson.


As we walked around Samford I texted Shane, "I am walking around my old college showing my teenager around while pushing a stroller with my Chinese baby in it.  Life is funny!"

He answered, "Yes. Yes it is."

It's also good.  Hard, busy, but very, very good.