I'm still here! I know I've been a very bad blogger and I apologize!
First of all today, I'd like to thank those that emailed me to "check on me". It is so nice to be missed! It doesn't seem like that much time has passed, I guess because I've been so busy. I lie in bed at night with the best of intentions of not neglecting my blog, and it just never works out.
These days we are spending four nights a week taking Joy to dance! Yes, I said four nights! Her ordinary schedule includes three nights with one night being for jazz and tap class, one night for ballet, one night for production, and temporarily until the first of December, we also have Friday nights as she practices for her performance in Moscow's Russian Nutcracker Ballet. Jason and I have just learned to use it as time together while we wait on Joy. It makes for good discussion times as we wait. We've also taken along the piles of paperwork needed to complete for the adoption.
I really have nothing really interesting to share on the adoption process. We had our home visits last week with our social worker, Ms. Lori, who is wonderful by the way! She was so sweet and gave Joy a scrapbook and adoption scrapbook papers! Our homestudy should be finished the first of next week, which leads us to our next step of filing our I-800A with Immigration and the fingerprinting. In the meantime, we are working on all the certification and authentication needed for the documents for our dossier to be sent to China. I have the highest praise for our agency, BAAS, and our coordinator, Xiaoqing. They are very efficient and Xiaoqing never tires of my many questions.
I have also met so many adoptive moms of kids from China through forums and blogs, that have answered many questions for me. One of my solid rocks of information is Erin. Erin has answered so many questions (I'm sure she has loads of patience because I have bugged her SO much) and I'm so glad she told me about BAAS which led us to our little Luke! She brought home her beautiful daughter, Maia, in May, and Erin is helping others along the way!
Speaking of Luke, we will be sending him a care package through Red Thread China hopefully this week, which will include a little album of pictures of us for him, among other things. There's a chance we will get more pictures of him possibly getting his package. I will most definitely share any new pictures or information that we receive! This wait is not easy!
Now on to the title of my post......Operation Christmas Child. Every year our homeschool group, CHEF (Christian Home Educators Fellowship), uses our Harvest Party (which was this past Tuesday) as an opportunity to take part in a very worthwhile service project, Operation Christmas Child, which is a ministry of Franklin Graham's Samaritan's Purse. The ministry asks that we get shoe boxes (and wrap the lid separate from bottom of box) or the little plastic rubbermaid type boxes (and decorate them Christmasy) and fill them with items age and gender appropriate to the category you choose. These boxes are sent to many countries to children who may have never known gifts like this. I watched a video on this once and these boxes are carried by wagon and donkey to some villages even. Can you imagine the delight of a child to see these boxes come to them from people who care? Click here to print a label (girl or boy and age category)as well as to read the types of things that are appropriate for sending. And if money is tight, Dollar Tree makes a great place for shopping for your shoe boxes. They have lots of small items that are appropriate. We chose to send a box to a 2-4 year old boy. I bet you could never guess why! (Our own Luke will be 2 when we bring him home so it was fun buying for that age). THEN, after all of boxes are ready to go within our homeschool group, all of the kids (and adults) gather around them and we always have children volunteers to pray over these boxes that the recipients will be blessed by them in every way. This year we filled and dropped off 26 boxes at our local dropoff station!
Most years, my kids have written a little letter and included their picture in the box. And imagine our surprise one year in April, we opened our mailbox to find a letter from Africa. It was a boy and girl holding their boxes with big grins and holding up the picture of Colt and Joy. That really made an impression on my kids. So, if you want to make a difference, take a minute and check it out. Pack a box. Or better yet, organize an effort to do this within your church or charity organization. When you click on the site above, it will also give you a local drop-off place for your box by putting in the area you live. (Oh, and they also ask that we include $7 to cover the shipping).
I was going to include some pictures from the past week of things we've been up to, but since this post is growing longer, I think I'll save that for my next post (which I PROMISE won't be as long as this time). Joy's been up to some fun activities; Colt has been very crafty and I have his finished "project" to show you; AND we've put up our main Christmas tree. I have so many Christmas boxes sitting on my sunporch calling my name. I like to get our Christmas decor up early so we have lots of time to enjoy it. You know the low lighting of the Christmas trees, sipping on my hot chocolate in my PJs watching a Christmas movie with my family.....that's the life!
Thank you, to everybody that stopped by with a comment or an email, about the adoption (and just everyday), I truly appreciate every one. I hope you all have a wonderful Thursday!