Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Eve

I am enjoying my Beth Moore on-line Bible study so much!! (Thanks Jean, I would never have know this to exists if it wasn't for your blog!) It was just what I needed to heal from this difficult time. I do thank you all so much for your kindness, compassion, and friendship. It is going to be a tough holiday season for us but we know the Lord will carry us through. We have talked to Anna Li a couple of times and she is doing very well. We were so excited to discover the Nationals for AYSO is 10 minutes from Anna Li's house! We will be going there in July and look forward to visiting her and her precious family. Her new family has given her a new name. It is beautiful, just like her:) It will be Mary Katherine (if she doesn't change her mind again:)). It will take some getting use to but we do love it!

We are looking forward to our Thanksgiving feast tomorrow. I am praying my Turtle Pumpkin Cheesecake turns out:) I feel truly blessed and have so much to be thankful for. It seems like Thanksgiving is the only holiday left that we can truly enjoy without being bogged down. Do you know what I mean? On Thanksgiving we can just eat and be merry:) We are surrounded by friends, family, and wonderful food. We get to spend the whole month reflecting on all that we have to be thankful.... that is it! No decorations, no gift giving, no shopping, no maxing out the credit cards. We just get to fill ourselves with joy over the blessings the Lord has given us. It doesn't get any better than this.

Monday, November 16, 2009

A Reason, A Season, a Lifetime

A dear friend sent me a poem about people in our lives for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. I am not sure who the author is but I have pondered this poem for sometime as I let go of my daughter to give her true happiness.
Anna Li was put into my life for a reason. She changed my life forever and I will never look at things the same way again. She brought a joy into my life like no other. I love like I never loved before. I am changed.
I believe we were put into her life for a reason. We taught her love. We taught her family. We shared the love of Jesus with her.
She has overcome so much in the year we have had her.
We were her stepping stone...
to get her where she need to be
and now when I see her I see nothing but true happiness.
Anna Li was put into my life for just a season.
We shared, we grew, we learned so much about each other.
We laughed. We cried.
She has taught us more than we could ever teach her.
I knew from the moment I seen her face
that she was a gift from God.
She is an angel sent from heaven and she touches everyone that meets her.
Anna Li will always be part of our lives... forever.
We will never forget her.
We will always be here for her.
We will forever be tied to her and her new family.
I adore them so much.
God is good... even in our darkest hours.
I give Him all the honor, glory, and praise.
I trust Him with my life and
I trust His will for my life.
I will follow where ever He leads.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

2nd Day with New Family

I am getting so aggrevated with blogger! It takes FOREVER for me to load pictures these days. So, I did get one loaded to share... Last Sunday we spent the entire day together as a family. We knew it would be our last weekend with Anna Li. Chad was able to get off work and he went to church with us. After church we went to the park to have a picnic and took some picture. It was a beautiful day and we all enjoyed it so much. We ended the day going to see A Christmas Carol in 3D. Anna Li and Colin thought it was a little scary. Anna Li slept through half of it:) I guess she wore herself out at the park.

Today Anna Li is spending time with her new family but will come back to us tonight. It's a tough weekend for us and I ask that you continue to lift us up in prayer. Chad was having a hard time last night and I believe that Bethany is struggling with this as well. I am trying to stay strong for everyone but man I'm gonna miss her so much. I am so thankful she is going to such a good home. I wish you could all see how much she is loved by BOTH families:)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Meeting the New Family: Day 1

All I can say is we had a wonderful first day with the new family!
LOVED IT!
I love this family! Precious, precious, precious!!
Mom and Dad are GREAT
and the kids are SO SO ADORABLE:)
We went to the park and let the kids play and the adults talk.
Then, Anna Li left went with the new family to eat dinner and enjoy sometime with them.
I asked her when she got home what she thought and she said,
"THEY ARE GREAT!!"
and she is right... they are!
So, God is soooo good and I just want to shout it from the roof tops:)
I am going to miss my little stinker so much but
I am so happy and blessed!
Continue to lift us up in prayer.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Transition Plan

Wow, tomorrow is the day that Anna Li's new family arrives.
We are all full of so many emotions!!
We have established a wonderful transition plan for Anna Li
(subject to change per Anna Li's request).
The family will arrive late tomorrow night so our first official day of meeting each other in person will be on Friday.
Day 1: Our two families will meet with the social worker. We plan to meet at the park or somewhere fun for the kids so they can play and we can talk.
Day 2: Anna Li will spend the day with her new family
Day 3: Anna Li and her new family will be attending church with us. That afternoon we will have a special dinner for Anna Li. We will have grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins there to meet her new family and say goodbye.
Day 4 & 5: We will have the new family over for dinner.

Day 6: Anna Li will be leaving with her new family.
This will be such a special week for Anna Li to have both her families together.
She is very excited to have them attend church with us and we are excited to have them as our guest. Anna Li can not wait to show off her new siblings to everyone.
Anna Li is a little nervous about leaving but she is also very excited to start anew in Florida.
We thank you all for your love and understanding.
We ask that you continue to lift us up in prayer.
God is so good

Sunday, November 8, 2009

A Season of Change

So today is the day that I share with the rest of the world the changes going on in our family.
I know it may be hard for some to understand and not all will agree, but I know in my heart that we are doing what is right no matter how difficult it may be.
Anna Li will be leaving our home and joining her new family very soon.
It was a very difficult and agonizing decision for us
but it was a decision made with Anna Li and not for Anna Li.
We love Anna Li with all of our being,
and she loves us as well.
We have made lots of progress over the past year.
It seems as each day goes by we get closer and closer to each other.
With that said, there is still a huge emptiness in Anna Li's heart.
She misses her country, her culture, the food, and the people.
Living in small town America limits the opportunities we can give to Anna Li.
I choose not to talk about the difficulties we have faced
in our small town, but you should know that there have been many.
Through the adoption community, we have found a wonderful Christian family
for Anna Li.
We have been in contact with them for several months.
Anna Li talks to them on the phone almost daily (sometimes for hours!!).
She will have 6 brothers and sisters adopted from
China, Columbia, Vietnam, and Guatemala and
ranging ages from 3-13.
She will also have some older siblings that are now grown and have families of their own
(Big Family!!).
She will have a sister that is 4 months younger than Anna Li and from China as well.
They are both able to speak in Mandarin to each other.
She also has a sister named Molly that is 12 from Columbia.
I believe that these 3 girls have so much in common
and will be a great source of strength and support for each other.
I have never seen Anna Li happier.
She is going to live in a larger city with a huge Asian population.
She will be around children that are like her and understand what she has been through.
She is going to have a sister and a brother from China,
and she is so excited about that:)
Anna Li has been nothing but a blessing to us.
We have learned so much from each other.
We have laughed, we have loved, we have shared many tears.
We feel the Lord has placed Anna Li in our lives for a reason.
We have learned so much about ourselves and others.
We feel the Lord has put Anna Li in our lives for a season,
to prepare her for where she needs to be.
Anna Li has a fresh start at life now...
knowing English, knowing what a family is, knowing what love is.
We have no regrets
We love this child and want the best for her in life.
If I knew then what I know now would I still do it?
YES, YES, YES
The Lord has given us such a special gift.
He allowed us to be part of her life.
HE gave us the opportunity to share the Love of Christ with her.
He graciously used us as a vessel to get her where she needs to be.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween 2009

Happy Halloween!!! Anna Li was a cat.. meow:)
Colin as Darth Vader..
Bethany as Alex Russo (Wizards of Waverly Place)..
and
Dylan as my sweet little snow bear.

We had so much fun this Halloween, I really do have lots of pictures to share but here lately I haven't been able to upload pictures without getting an error. So aggravating!!
We went to our church's pumpkin festival Friday night
and
to my Mom's church on Saturday night
for a fall festival
then
back home for some good old door to door
Trick or Treating.
Mr. Dylan is growing like a weed:)
He is starting to smile and goo.
What precious days these are.
God is good.
Dylan's first Halloween
6 weeks and 3 days old