Our Journey to Molly

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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

TRAVEL APPROVAL!!!!!

YES!!!!!  This has been by far the hardest wait of the whole process, but we got it!!! WOOOHOOOO!!!!
Waiting to hear back from our agency on the exact dates, but looks like we may be there during Christmas. I'm having very mixed emotions with this...I want my baby girl desperately NOW, but will miss my boys SOOO much on Christmas day!   Maybe we can open some present as a family before we go?  Like I said before, I'm sure they'll be a lot better with it than mom and dad will!

We're coming to get you sweet Molly Marie!  We love you so much it hurts, and we'll be counting down the days and nights until you're with us FOREVER!!  LOVE YOU!!!


Saturday, November 26, 2011

From Turkey Bowl to Santa!

We were able to kick off the 1st Annual Melissa Turkey bowl this year on Thanksgiving morning!  The kids(that includes Jon) had so much fun!  They were a little intimidated at first with the team they were playing...very tall high school kids, but we managed to win...even if it was with the help of some of the very kind kids on the opposing teams "slips" and "misses" that let us win.  Ben even managed to get a TD!  He was so excited! The dads hadn't moved like that in many years, and were all just a little sore the next day :)


                                                            
Cold and foggy morning...

                                                   Pre-Game  warm up!


Team Black Friday :)


                                                        Let the games begin!!


                                                       The Proud Winners :)



                                   With their Turkey Bowl certificates.....


I hope this can become a Thanksgiving day tradition each year....so fun!


We brought the kids to see Santa today.  Ben only has 2 things on his list this year, so he was quick, but Reed wrote a list a mile long before he got there and Santa read each and every one of them.  Gage, on the other hand, was only interested in being the center of attention and making the crowd laugh!  When they were trying to get a good picture, he'd make up crazy words and start cracking up and look around to make sure everybody was laughing at him.  Looks like we've got a class clown on our hands!!


We've been going to see this same Santa every year since Ben was a baby, so it's so fun to pull out all of the framed pics each year and see how they've grown.  They love looking at them, too!


The boys with Santa...


And a few more pics of the goofballs on the way out..








I've been working hard on getting all of my Christmas shopping done so I won't be stressing with it when we get out TA.  I'm pretty much done except for a few odds and ends and wrapping them!  1st time in my life I've been done this early!  I'm hoping to get the TA on Monday because I REALLY want to be back home on Christmas Day since the boys won't be with us.  Honestly, I think they would be fine...it would be Jon and I having a hard time being away from them.  I'm not going to stress about it yet though.  I just want to get there ASAP!!  I need my baby girl!!!! 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thankful

I have so many things to be thankful for this holiday....

healthy kids and school parties...





      Good times and memories being made with family....
(you can probably guess why Ben is laughing and Luke is making that face....geeesh!..BOYS!!)




                         
And this addition to our family stockings this Christmas!  I LOVE seeing Molly's stocking surrounded by her family who loves her so much!  The missing piece to our family.... complete! :)





  Our Article 5 was picked up last Thursday, our visas came in the mail today, and now we just wait on our Travel Approval!!  SOOOOO CLOSE!!!!! :)))

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Molly Marie - 15 months

I woke up to more pictures of sweet Molly this morning!!  She's so beautiful!!  And look at her hair...it's growing out!  I see some big ole bows in her future!! :)
I'm so fortunate to have two people that visit her orphanage with a volunteer group, and are able to give me pictures and updates every now and then.  Just when I think the wait is too unbearable, I get a few pictures to get me a little farther. The man who visits and send me these pictures said she likes for him to hold her.  You don't even know how happy that makes me!  




Our Article 5 should be picked up tomorrow and brought to the Chinese consulate, where they will issue our Travel Approval.  We should get that in a couple of weeks, and then travel about 2 weeks later!!  So maybe we'll be in China in a month!!  I can't believe it!!  Hang on Molly Marie...we're almost there!!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Molly's shower

My sweet friends threw a shower for me last night, and I have to say, it really made everything sink in how very close we are to having her in our arms!!   I loved having all of my friends together to celebrate Molly's soon to be arrival!  I wish Molly only knew how many people love her and can't wait to cover her with kisses when she comes home!  


She got all things fun, PINK and sweet! :))  This is one of the most precious frames I've ever seen! And this James Avery butterfly necklace will be her very first piece of jewelry.  It'll soon be engraved with the day that we held her in our arms for the first time..


This is another frame that I will cherish forever!  All of my friends wrote a note to Molly on it. I couldn't bring myself to read it until I got home last night.  It was a good thing I waited! lol


This girl is gonna be set!  Look at all this stuff!!


My future helper in the kitchen...:)



This is the cutest and smallest pillow pet I've ever seen!  The boys all have the big ones and sleep with them every night, so I was excited to get a tiny one for little Miss!


Oh Yay!!...my very first girly diaper bag!!!



Last but not least, my wonderful mom made this gorgeous afghan for Molly! She started working on it as soon as we got Molly's referral.  It took her months to finish and it's the most beautiful blanket I've ever seen. It's so soft too! 
Molly, Nana wants you to know that every loving stitch she made, she was thinking of you.  Thank you, Nana!                      


I LOVE these girls and feel so blessed to have each one of them in my life!
                       Thank y'all for making Molly's shower so special.



Sunday, November 6, 2011

Adoption changes lives

In honor of orphan sunday, I thought I would document how adoption has already completely changed our family in every way.  When we began with this adoption last year, we assumed we knew how the life of our little girl would be forever changed.  How she would 
gain a brighter future, choices, attention, affection, and unconditional love from us as her family,   I guess what I never truly realized is just how much we, as a family adopting, would forever be
changed.


We started this process a year ago (orphan sunday to be exact) last November, and it amazes me how choosing to step out in faith has brought us so much closer to God.  Our eyes have been opened to the fact that this life is not all about us!,...  Shocker!!  There's more to our lives than just what we see.  God expects us to actually get out of our comfort zone and Go and Be,  to be His hands and feet, and to see the world through His eyes.  
We've always been complacant to just go to church(when it was convienent for us),  listen to the sermon, be good people, and live our lives for ourselves.  We never truly knew what it meant to Go and Be for Him!  This adoption, this little girl who lives in an orphange half way around the world, stepping out in faith, has opened our eyes to the fact that we need to be doing more for Him!   It would've been so easy to choose  to say no to God's plan for our life, and continue on "our plan"....so much easier, so much less heart ache, and so much more comfortable for us...but I'm so glad we didn't.  I've never felt God closer to me than I have this year.   This verse has come to life for us this year..

"Draw near to God and He will draw near to you." (James 4:8)


Maybe it's because when going through a process such as adoption, we have ZERO control.  Faith is what gets you through.  In this process, you get to see how there is no other explanation, other than God's hand being involved in every single detail, every step of the way.  We've had our fair share of "coincidences" this year, and it's not just another coincidence that we have grown closer to God, as a family.   We've never had the courage, until now, to hand over everything to him....our worries, plans, time, and even finances, with complete trust, but it feels so good to let go and know He's in control.  We've never been as committed to stepping out in other ways, and helping others in need, as we are now.  
It's crazy for me to think that at 37 years old, I'm just now realizing that each of us have been given a special gift to use for His glory.  It's whether or not we choose to use it.   
I've always, as far as back as I can remember,  been extremely empathetic for people and animals in need.  I've volunteered in animal shelters and rescued my fair share of homeless and abused animals, and now realize that He gave me this gift of empathy, so that I could nurture it and let it grow, to one day adopt one of His children....His ultimate plan.  
Our family is far from where we need to be, but I know that God is not done with us.  This is His story and I know that this is only the beginning of what He has planned for us.  We are here for a such a short time in the grand scheme of things, and I want us to do all that He wants us to do in the that time.  I'm not saying we are or aren't going to adopt again, but I am praying that our hearts are left wide open to do whatever it is that God has planned for us....adopting or otherwise.


Today is Orphan Sunday, and I hope that many more people feel the call to adopt the way we did last year.  145 million orphans in the world seems like an overwhelming number, and what difference does just one child make?  It makes all the difference to the life of that one child, and the rippling affect of that one adoption leads to so many more...that's the amazing part.  He says He will not leave them as orphans and he will come for them, and He has ....WE are His answer to the orphans.  It IS an overwhelming number, but we can make a difference.  I'm so thankful that he broke our heart for what breaks His.  






Little does this baby girl know how she has blessed us 
before she even got here.  Little does she know
the lives that she's already touched, not just our family, but everyone who has even heard about her.  She's so special and I
can only imagine the gifts that He's given her.  
God knew from the
beginning that we would need each other, and I feel so honored and blessed that He chose us to raise this
special girl.


Proverbs 24:12 "Once our eyes are opened we cannot pretend we do not know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls knows we know and holds us responsible to act."


Click on this video of families that have adopted in our church family.  Love it!


Adoption Video






Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Trick or Treat!

Our first halloween in the new hood was a success!  There were lots of hayrides going on since the houses are too far apart to walk to each one.  The boys would hop off at each house and load up.  They ended up with bags full of candy!  


Harry Potter, Ash(pokemon trainer), and Luigi!...




getting ready for the hayride to start...












Gage had a school fall fest, and the kids got to pick out their own pumpkins.  Of course, G went straight for the one that was almost bigger than he was.  After many attempts at trying to pick up the monster pumpkin, he finally did it.  His face in this one cracks. me.up.!!! 


 

The kids were hyped up on candy and didn't fall asleep until way too late.  They were SOOOO exhausted this morning, so I'm hoping they can just make it through the day without crashing!!