Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Good News..."Be Still My Heart"

Time really gets away from me these days! I haven't posted since Monday, October 19th. On that very day, or night rather, we received a call from Xiaoqing, at BAAS (Bay Area Adoption Service). We were just getting ready to walk out the door to go out to eat, and I stopped and answered the phone! Boy, am I glad I did! Xiaoqing was calling with a referral of a 20 month old little boy. She told me his medical history and asked if we would like to take a look at his picture and file. She thought he would be great for our family. I think she didn't know for sure what we would say because originally, Joy had leaned towards a girl, although we all decided we would leave that in God's hands and see what he had for our family.

Let me back up a minute to events before this night. Two weeks previously, I had a dream. In this dream, I was sent a picture of a little boy. I looked at his picture and said, "There's nothing wrong with him." Basically, that's how it happened, except I received a phone call, in which Xiaoqing described his condition, explaining that he already had his surgery and that he was just like all other children....very healthy and developmentally physically, emotionally, and mentally as other children. He had passed many developmental milestones which showed significant progress in his surgical procedure. In fact, he is quite bright, I'm told, and very well liked by everyone, including the neighbors. He is an extrovert and very lively (I knew we would get another lively child...we never get any other kind). I think Xiaoqing even said something like, "so basically now there's nothing wrong with him." I remember that it was almost the words in my dream exactly.

I might add Joy was jumping up and down, and never mentioned a girl again. In fact, Xiaoqing was a little worried that she would be disappointed, and I reassured her that Joy was beaming, jumping up and down. This was her little brother. No doubt.

We locked his file, which holds it for 48 hours, so no one else can claim him, and we looked into the diagnosis he has (waist spinal meningocele - surgically repaired), conferred with our pediatrician and other specialists on what the future "could" hold. This diagnosis is one of many forms of spina of the mildest. We called her back in less than 12 hours, and told her, he was our more time needed! We actually knew it the minute we saw his picture. Those eyes.....looking into ours.....he was ours! the newest member of our family (waiting for us in China)....Luke Tai (pronounced Ty).
He is 20 months old now, which is a bit older than we also wrote down that we were willing to accept, but again, it didn't matter. We hope to be travelling to get him early summer, which would make him about 2 years and 4 months, if all goes well.

So now the wait is on...the hard part. To this point, things have moved very quickly. Within two weeks after contacting BAAS, we had our referral, then one week after our letter of intent to adopt, we received our PA (pre-adoption approval) from the Chinese Centre of Adoption Affairs. I know God is opening doors, to have our son already waiting for us. There's the homestudy completion to be done, and the big paperchase involved. I can already tell we're in for an emotional ride here, but I know it will all be worth it when we travel to China and see our little Luke for the first time in person and then bring him home with us!

He is living with a foster family, which is very good. They adore him and take care of him with lots of love. I know this is probably even better than his being in an orphanage because he has plenty of care and attention. I'm so thankful for that. I'm so very grateful and amazed with these wonderful foster families that do such an unselfish thing. I know it takes a special person to be able to care for a child for that long, and then say goodbye to them when they go to their families.

As it is with the female gender, Joy and I are VERY EXCITED. We are constantly looking at the clock, thinking about what time it is in China (13 hours ahead of us), and what Luke is probably doing now, since we know somewhat of his routine. The guys in the family, Jason and Colt, are excited, but are saving the real enthusiasm for when it's closer to time to bring him home.

I appreciate your prayers and covet additional prayers that we have a smooth process all the way with no delays,including the completion of a speedy homestudy, so we can bring Luke home at the very earliest time possible. And for all the encouragement, and the emails from adoptive parents that have helped out by answering my many questions, I'm thankful for it all! I'm so very grateful to find BAAS and Xiaoqing is such a blessing! Thank you to all of you!

God is good! :)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Another Home Improvement Sneak Peak

What have we been up to? Where do I even begin?

Let's see....I gutted and cleaned another room. While Colt was gone to work Saturday, I worked on his room. Recently, we moved out his futon (by his choice) and added a fold-down couch bed that was given to us by my Aunt Jo and Uncle Wayne.

This takes up much less room in there and it also has more of a sleek modern look, which is definitely more his style.

Oops....I forgot that I took his curtain down in there to wash and I forgot to put it back up before taking the picture. It's a red straight-line valance, the same color red as the throw pillows on the couch.

And remember I mentioned in a previous post that we were working on another redo or home improvement? Well it's the upstairs bathroom. It really wasn't planned as such. We were at Lowe's (one of our favorite places, but definitely not Joy's). Jason was having to get a part to replace a part on the toilet in there and made the comment that it was too bad that we couldn't paint and put down the tile we wanted while the commode was pulled out. Well my brain started working and I remembered all that birthday money stashed away. I had initially thought new clothes for me....then I about a new look for my bathroom? So...that's how it came to be. We picked out and purchased the paint and tile that day and brought it home and the project began.

This is only a sneak peek as that's really all I have to show you. And please keep in mind that it's a work in progress, so it's messy in there! The color we picked out for the walls is called Molasses. It's a deeper tone than the color in the downstairs hall bathroom, that we recently remodeled. I have always looked at that color and thought it was so pretty and a bold, but rich color, and Jason really liked it too, so we just decided to go for it. We love it on the walls!

The tile is also a darker tone with lots of texture. It's called Noce Roman, from Lowe's. I like the combination of the two colors together...the wall and floors. We were up until 1:00 a.m. Saturday night grouting. It made for a tiring day, Sunday, but at least it was done.

And we decided to do the trimwork in there with my favorite red, since we are leaving the cabinet stained as is and leaving the original vanity top (I didn't have THAT much birthday money)....but hopefully with new decor and shower curtain, this room will be a fresh primitive change. Oh, and here's the door that Jason added the panels and painted and antiqued:

I forgot to take before pictures, but just take my word when I saw it was dated! The walls were peach and the shower curtain was cream lace with peach ruffles! You can see a hint of the paint left here (click on picture to see closer), where the trim will cover it. Now, you know why you never ever saw a picture of that room!

It may take awhile before I can show you the finished room, because I'll have to slowly accumulate my accessories, but I'll be sure and unveil the finished room when it's finally completed. I guess this means our social worker will see our ongoing project as is, when she comes for our adoption homestudy, but then she'll definitely see the true US, because we're always up to something like that.

By the way, sometime after Christmas, all the bedrooms (except mine, sigh...) will get a new look, since Colt plans to move into the upstairs bedroom (yet another reason the bathroom up there got a new look). Joy will move over into his present room and our newest little family member will get Joy's present room. So everybody is picking out paint colors in anticipation of these projects. It will give us something to look forward to and something to pass the time as we wait.

And that's it for today, folks. Thank you so much for stopping by! I hope you have a great week!

~ Tammy ~

Thursday, October 15, 2009

49 years ago....

49 years ago.....from yesterday, this handsome guy was born. Do you recognize him?

Can you tell that's my hubby? I like to tease him about this picture alot. Just look at hair and those flared nostrils. He looks like Mr. Cool, doesn't he? This is his senior picture. I didn't know him at this point. We weren't destined to meet until about a year later. (And he was all clean cut by that time). :)

But yesterday, October 14th, was Jason's 49th birthday. Tuesday is one of our very busiest days around here, so I didn't get a chance to post. We are actually celebrating his birthday this evening. We are going out to eat at the restaurant of his choice, Rafferty's, along with several other family members.

I'm so glad that 49 years ago, this guy was born in Missouri and then just about 3 years later, a little girl was born many miles away and that these two were meant to find each other. I know we were blessed to find each other.

I just wanted to say Happy Birthday to my hubby, Jason, and thank him for everything he does for me and for our family. He's a wonderful and loving husband and daddy! He ALWAYS put us first, before himself. I love you, Jason! Happy Birthday, honey!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

M.I.A. - What's Been Going On Around Here

Did you think I vanished? I don't think I've ever gone this long in between posts....ever. I apologize. It's been a different kind of week around here though.

First of all, Colt has had the flu since last Sunday evening (October 4th). He was quite sick with this flu, with body aches and high fevers up to 104 degrees. He missed an entire week of college and work. This is very rare for Colt. For him to stay at home, in bed, for that long, is very unusual. I'm so thankful that he is better and up around and out, finally. He was able to return to work yesterday and to go to church today. Now, we're just praying the rest of the family doesn't get it. Joy is so determined to NOT get it....she won't even go near his room. I suggested she "borrow" a pair of his anklet socks, and she wouldn't hear of going into his room for them! She knows she doesn't have time to get sick! lol!

Next of all, you know from my last post that we are initiating the adoption process. Well, if you know anything about that at all, you know it's alot of paperwork. Any spare time last week was spent in researching medical issues, talking to adoptive parents, talking with our social worker for the homestudy, and the adoption agency, as well as filling out the many forms and papers that are required. We found THE adoption agency for us. We decided to go with B.A.A.S. The lady that is working with us, Xiaoqing, is just wonderful. It makes such a difference to know we have someone like her working with us. It's so obvious that she really cares and she is very efficient. It is also so exciting to know that a child.....our child.....waits for us somewhere in China.

Along with the homestudy, of course, comes a visit to our home from the social worker, so since we made it past Colt's bout with the flu, we began cleaning and organizing our home yesterday. We took, I believe, four or five bags of trash out of just our bedroom and the hall linen closet. It's amazing what we hang onto that we really don't need! So that brings me to the one thing for which I have pictures to show today! We rearranged our bedroom after cleaning and it looks so much better (and bigger) this way. Funny thing was though when Colt came home Saturday night from work and came into our room to tell us goodnight, he was disoriented. Of course, he has come to expect the unexpected from us. He never knows what he'll come home to find....whether it be a wall knocked out, something being painted, crafting spread over the table, or worse. He sat on the side of my bed, looking around, and remarked how he liked it. Not bad for a twenty year old guy. Maybe I trained him well. :)

So, here are some photos of the bedroom rearrangement. Our bedroom is country, but not primitive. Someday it will get a makeover....all in its own time. (However, I do have a little makeover in progress too). I spent my birthday money on giving our upstairs bathroom a new look. We're working on that too. That's another thing we've been up to. Actually Jason has done more on that than me. Joy and I worked on the bedroom, while Jason painted the upstairs bath. I'll share more on that on a later post. Okay, here's the bedroom pics:

So I hope you excuse my absence from blogland this past week or so. I'll try to do better....really. And I've been just as bad about visiting blogs....couldn't there be just a few more hours in a day? It sure is hard to balance it all, isn't it?

Thanks for stopping by! Have a great day and a wonderful week! :)
~ Tammy ~

Friday, October 2, 2009

Faithful Fridays - "Walking Through Opened Doors"

Well Joy beat me to this news already on her blog....but I have exciting news to share! Actually, our entire family is very excited.

After much thought, prayer, and discussion, we have decided to pursue adding to our family by adopting again. There are so many unknowns to us since it has been so many years since we adopted.....twenty to be exact. So many things have changed, included costs involved. For that reason, among others, this will definitely be a leap of faith for us. We will most definitely be trusting God to open doors for us if this is His will. Remember the Bible verse about faith and the mustard seed and the moving mountains? Well I'm sure there will be lots of mountains that will need to be moved along the way. :)

I even hesitated to mention this (at least for awhile) because of all the uncertainities, but then I felt like it was something I should share, no matter what happens. If this is to be, you will share right along with me those opened doors and know that it definitely is a "God thing". :) And by that, I mean comes to be only by God's will and answers to prayers. And if it is not to be, then maybe you could just share our disappointment. The main thing is that we are trusting God on this thing, whatever comes our way.

Because of our ages, the length of time that it is currently taking on international adoptions through China, and the fact that we could love a "special" child, we have decided to go through the waiting children program of China, which means we will be accepting a special needs child, which can mean many things. We are currently researching various medical conditions that we could and would be able to accept within our family. Alot of these children that are available for adoption have correctable medical conditions which I would consider minor special needs...things like cleft lip/palate, minor heart conditions, etc.....things that some people would pass over if they were looking for a healthy child. We are thinking in terms of adopting a child that is about 2-3 years old when they arrive home to us (boy or girl). Just to think that a child waits to be part of our forever family wells up so many emotions inside me because I know how God works all of that out! He can arrange for our child to be thousands of miles away....we just have to bring them home.

Again, we are just in the beginning stages, but I would covet your prayers that we have wisdom and that God would open doors and provide in every way if this be His will.

Whew...having said that in this post is such a relief. I've had so many emotions this week! And you have no idea how excited Joy is....she has wanted a brother or sister from China since she was very little and planned this whole thing for many years. Never underestimate the faith of a child!

By the way, if you have something to share for Faithful Fridays, please go over to Joy's blog, Doodlebug, and let her know in a comment, so we can all stop by!

Blessings to you all and thank you for stopping by and for all the sweet comments that you leave!

~ Tammy ~