Saturday, April 26, 2008


I leave on TUESDAY!! EARLY!! I'm excited. I've done the "big things" that need to be done - well, except packing. Everything is thrown on my bed at the moment. I either have to pack it tonight to go to bed or sleep on the couch! At this hour, I'm thinking it's going to be sleep on the couch tonight. This will probaby be my last post from the U.S. - unless some major news happens. I will do my best to post from China. I know I can at the White Swan in Guangzhou and I figure I *probably* can in Nanjing, but we'll see.

Here's our basic itenerary for those who are curious:

April 29th - Fly out of Birmingham earlier than the rooster gets up, short layover in Newark, NJ and then on to Beijing

April 30th - Arrive Beijing at 1:50 p.m. (check in hotel, rest, eat supper, sleep)

May 1 - Beijing: Tour Summer palace in the morning and then have free time the rest of the day

May 2 - Beijing: Take a Hutong Tour (old Beijing neighborhoods) in the morning, free time in the afternoon, see an acrobat show in the evning

May 3 - Morning free time, fly to Nanjing late afternoon

May 4 - Hang out in Nanjing, shop for supplies, get ready!

May 5 - Meet Sadie!! She will be with us from this point on!

May 6 - Complete official adoption paperwork (I'm guessing it's this day, just from the way things worked last time)

May 7 and 8 - Hang out in Nanjing / sightsee or shop / take a trip to Taizhou to visit Sadie's orphanage (about 2.5 hours from Nanjing from what I've heard)

May 9 - Pick up Sadie's passport and fly to Guangzhou

May 10 - 11 - Medical exam in Guangzhou (brief, very simple), shop and /or tour

May 12 - U.S. Consulate appointment (I don't actually go to this. My guide does it for me, but I have to be in my hotel room so she can call if there are questions.)

May 13 - Late afternoon trip to consulate to pick up Sadie's passport with U.S. Visa and for the swearing-in ceremony. Take an evening train to Hong Kong and spend one night in a hotel there.

May 14 - morning flight out of Hong Kong to Newark, NJ. When Sadie gets off the plane in Newark, she will officially be a U.S. Citizen! We'll have a fairly long layover in Newark and then fly to Birmingham!! We arrive in Birmingham Airport a little after 9:30 p.m. if the flight is on time. (Didn't happen last time - we didn't arrive until close to midnight) **PRAY FOR SLEEP FOR ALL OF US ON THE PLANE - ESPECIALLY THE TWO UNDER 5!!!!

In other news, here's a couple pics of my first baby. I can't believe how much she's growing up!! I've enjoyed spending some sweet time with her some this week in between all the preparing and packing and getting ready to go.

Ballet: First Position with punk rock star hair?? This was suppossed to be Hannah's costume for her dance recital (minus the hair - that was her own addition) but we are missing her recital to be in China. She didn't mind a bit because she got the costume anyway since we'd already paid for it. That was what it was all about to her anyway - get the dress!

Hannah's cousin Elizabeth spent the night with us last weekend. The girls enjoyed staying up late to watch a movie and giggling when they were suppossed to be sleeping.

Of course, I know some of you will be checking in on us during our China trip. Don't forget to check in after we get home too for the adventures of the two sisters. Hannah's going to play Tblall this summer which should be a lot of fun to watch!! At least with tball, there's a place for yelling in cheering your team on! I overheard her dance teacher tell her one week "Hannah - ballet is a QUIET dance" ha!!

I can't thank you all enough for your love, suport, and encouragement for me and my family. Please continue to keep us in your prayers in the next couple weeks: safe travels, adjustment of Sadie, adjustment of Hannah, okay - adjustment of all of us! Pray for Sadie's sleep, Hannah's sleep, and MY sleep. And I'm sure Beth would appreciate some sleep too!! I'm a much nicer person when I get some sleep! And I'll sleep better if the girls are sleeping. It's going to be a great trip. God is doing amazing things....stay tuned!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

This and bedding, suggestions, good news


You may remember we got new quilts for Hannah and Sadie's beds. I have her old set (1 comforter, 1 pilow sham, 1 bedskirt - all twin size) that I think are cute. But, I'm in decluttering mode. I'm short on closet space and don't want to store them. I don't have the time / energy at the moment to sell them and ship them. I was about to take them to thrift store, but decided to post here first. If anyone wants them, they are free! The only catch - you have to come get them at my house before I go to China. If they're not gone by next weekend, they're going to the thrift store. :-) If you work with me or go to church with me, I can bring them to school or church - otherwise, you have to come get them. Also, I have the knobs from her dressor (we've changed them to princess knobs) if you want them. They are red plaid - not seen very well in the photo - sorry. Furniture is not going and neither is doll. These go to the first person to request them (by comment, e-mail, or phone).


I love to read and if a book is good, I can finish it in one night. My general rule of thumb is not to start a book if I don't have time to finish it within a couple days..because if I like it, I will put other things off so I can finish it. I haven't read much lately because, well..I haven't had I haven't started much. Except I did read one book the night Hannah was in the hospital while she slept. But, I will be in the plane for many hours. And yes, I have 2 children to entertain on the way back, but on the way there I only have one, who will watch movies and draw some, and will sleep some. (hopefully a lot..but I can't promise that). So, I'm looking for book suggestions to take with me. I want to take 2 books. At least one of them I want to be a fiction book "just for fun". The other can be fiction, devotional, whatever... So, what are you favorite books?? Leave a comment and let me know.

Good News!

I got word today that I received a small grant from Gift of Adoption fund! God continues to be faithful in providing for these fees and while I'm not there yet (travel is on my credit card for now..), I'm getting closer literally day by day. I admit to getting a bit anxious at times as to *how* He's going to come through on this, but you know..that's not my job to figure out how. I know I've done all I can do, and as it stands right now, I'm getting on a plane to China in 10 days. If I have to figure out a portion of the travel costs when I get back, then that's okay. And truly, I can cover the majority of it now, but have chosen not to so that I don't have to worry about being short on my other expenses. I found out early this week that my in-china fees rose by $2000 effective now. So, that kind of stunk to be honest...but I have known it was a possibility for a while. But, between the grant I got today and several gifts this week..that has taken care of the increase. So, today, I'm giving thanks for all that God has provided both through this grant and even more so through the support of others. When I look at all God has done, I stand amazed. This song that we sing in my church sometimes has been running through my head the last few days..or really just a couple lines of it. "Your love is amazing, steady and unchanging, your love is a mountain, firm beneath my feet". I mean really...there is no way I should be able to complete this adoption right now if it was all looked at in human terms. I was in a discussion lately about how we wanted to know God's plans clearly. I think for me, that translates into I want to know God's plans in advance. But, you know, if I'd have known His plans "in advance" for me personally, I wouldn't have believed it! If God would have sent me an e-mail three years ago that said "so, DeEtte - I want you to complete 2 international adoptions in less than 2.5 years start to finish and yes, I do realize you are a public school teacher...and oh yeah - right after the first one, new rules are going to come out that will make you think you're prevented from adopting again..but don't worry. you'll have to start the process pretty immediately (6 months after being home) and all involved (including our goverment) will have to work on a tight timeline but it'll get done and you'll submit your paperwork just 10 days before you would no longer be eligible...and once again I'll draw your attention to the child meant for you, but be ready - it'll be earlier than you're planning ..and once again, you won't have the money, but don't worry - it'll come..although at the last minute so you'll have to trust me the WHOLE time, but you will fly to China and I will unite you with your second daughter and your first daughter who SO wasn't ready to be a big sister when you started will mature and will become ready JUST IN TIME" - y'all - I would have so thought I was crazy! Good thing God didn't say all that then. But, that scenario is exactly what He has done and IS doing at this very moment! WOW!!

Anyway, enough of the ramblings. I guess I've been so busy and pre-occupied with so many details of life lately and this weekend I got a bit of a "breather" and a chance to reflect and really see the big picture of what God has done and is doing. And, I'm so amazed. What an incredible God we serve!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Procrastination Post and Pictures

Just a few fun pictures because I have a big paper / project to write this weekend for school. And I work best under pressure. So, I'm procrastinating by doing this blog post so I'll have less time and can then do my best work! ha!! Actually, I can do this while talking to Hannah at the same time - the paper will take much concentration so must wait until after the princess goes to bed. I can justify anything!

A couple weeks ago, my school did a shower / "celebrate" Sadie night at a local restaurant. It was a lot of fun, but I didn't take my camera. So, here's a picture of the leftover cake! ha! I LOVE my job (even though this time a year it's a bit crazy and more so since I'm trying to leave in two more weeks!) and I'm so lucky to work in a place where the faculty really care about one another and are SO supportive. (And just for the record, my previous school where I was when I adopted Hannah was the same way! I'm 2 for 2!). But, I don't think I'll test any other schools...I think I'm content with both my job AND the number of children I have!

Hannah LOVES her new castle quilt. I was so excited to find these. We got two. It's really too big for Sadie's bed since she has a toddler bed for now, but they were too cool not to get both girls one. We can fold Sadie's up when not in use or whatever. Hannah has been so amazing about sharing her room with Sadie (well, she's been amazing about the *idea* of it, it hasnt' been tested yet) and I wanted to somehow make it special. So, we turned her room into a "princess room". Okay, we got these quilts and changed the knobs out on her dresser. room makeover that made my 4 year old THRILLED! I loved this quilt for a couple reasons. Hannah likes the Disney princess stuff but I'm kind of tired of them to be honest. I have nothing against them - she has some disney princess shirts and some other things. But this one made us both happy. I hope Sadie likes hers too.

Hannah was playing the other day when I saw this. I asked her who those people were and where they were going. "That's Hannah, mommy, and Sadie. We're going to Wal-mart!" Of course, her play is so realistic..I look just like Barbie and plan to regularly drive the kids around in the convertible parked in my garage wearing a leotard and tutu! Oh wait, I don't have the garage! well, almost realistic! :-)

Hannah - three weeks post-surgery. See, she no longer looks like she's been in a fight. There's still a bit of swelling and the scar is a bit raised, but that should get better over the next few months. I think she's simply beautiful..but then again, I've always thought that.

BUSTED! Well..if my mommy would just put the stuff she doesn't want me to reach a little lower, I wouldn't HAVE to climb on the sink to get it.

And just for fun, here's a post-Easter story. Apparently in Sunday School the week after Easter, Hannah's class watched a video and in it, they showed Jesus ascending into heaven. Hannah came out and said "Mommy! Jesus can do magic!".."well, yeah..we say he did miracles..".."no mommy, he can do magic. Jesus can fly...JUST LIKE TINKERBELL!"
Well, enough procrastination. Or at least blog procrastination. I'm going to play with Hannah a bit and then put her to bed..and then work on my paper. Or clean my house.. we'll see..


Just had to share. I got an e-mail from someone on the Taizhou SWI yahoo group. Her daughter was adopted from the same orphanage as Sadie back in 2001 and they recently went for a visit. She described some of the kids she saw and this is what she had to say about Sadie (she didn't know names of the kids and at the time she was there didn't know that I was about to adopt one of she's not being unkind by the way she describes her..just trying to differentiate between the kids when she didn't personally know any of them)

"The girl with no thumb seems very alert and intelligent. Very pretty. Our guide said her good friend was recently adopted out, so she was grieving. After we were there awhile, she warmed up and smiled. She danced and laughed with my husband when he was doing a goofy dance with her"

Aw, that made my day. Unfortunately, she was not allowed to take pictures. But, sounds like she's doing good. Her friend that is referred to lives two hours north of us..I'm hoping we can get them together again at some point.

In other news, I do have plane tickets reserved! I leave April 29th. I'll post details later.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Just a quick update

I have my consulate appointment - it's May 12. So, right now it looks like I will receive Sadie on either May 4 or 5. I will be able to come home after the 13th of May. I'm working on exact travel plans now and will update you as soon as I have them. SO CLOSE!!

In other news, we went back to the cleft clinic last week for Hannah's post-surgery appointment. Everything went well and her surgeon was pleased with the surgery. Her lip is looking really good!
He is done with her in his words "for a long time". Although, she will still need the bone graft surgery for her gumline in a few years (no earlier than 6 years old though). The oral surgeon on the cleft team will actually do that and we will have x-rays done in about a year to see how long we can wait on that surgery..they try to time it before permanent teeth start coming in.

I'll try to get a picture of Hannah up here before the week's out..since the last one I posted of her had her looking pretty banged up. But, she's asleep now, so it won't be tonight.
And speaking of Hannah, tomorrow is KINDERGARTEN REGISTRATION! oh my! I can't believe I'm registering her for kindergarten already! wow!