*


Monday, November 30, 2015

POA Sent

Today I finally mailed the POA for Bill to DC -- after having it notarized and authenticated. I have been saying we were going to get it done for weeks. Everytime I start to get all the forms together I find something else to do and have never made it to FedEx. Well, it is gone and I think this is the last thing we have to do -- other than airline tickets. We won't get those until we have travel approval. So, we just wait. It is really starting to feel so real now. 

We had a nice Thanksgiving. It was actually rather quiet. We missed our friends that always come -- all 10 of them -- but they had a sick child so it was just our family and a couple of close friends. I didn't even have to cook much as my oldest daughter contacted most of her siblings and made sure they were cooking several things to bring. Usually the kids at home and I do most of the cooking. It ended up I had almost nothing to do. I baked a cake with Sarah and did some small things, but other than the turkey that was pretty much it. It was really nice and relaxing. 

I took almost no pictures on Thanksgiving day. I'm not sure why as I always pull my camera out. I did get this picture of Michael with little sister Bethany. Michael made the stuffing -- Stove Top -- all 8 boxes of it and brought 10 cans of cranberry sauce and peas. 



























Sophia was unusually quiet on Thanksgiving this year. Usually when a lot of people are here she just can't handle it. She yells and screams until I take her somewhere quiet -- her room most of the time. She doesn't like all the noise and confusion. When she gets really loud and upset the only place that quiets her is her room. Last year she was beside herself. She was so upset and so out of her comfort zone. This year she actually took most of it in stride. She even seemed a little interested in what was going on. 



























It seems like almost every single year the day after Thanksgiving some of my girls end up in my room on my bed goofing off and talking to me. This year was no exception. Emily and Abigail came up and then Bethany and Bella joined them. Emily and Abigail were being silly and taking selfies with Bethany and Bella. I decided it was a good time to run get my camera as they seemed in a mood to let me get their picture -- it is always harder to get pictures of my older girls. 


























Then Emily decided to call most of the girls up to the bedroom to get them all in a picture. Of course, not everyone was here. Katie was studying and Sophia was asleep and some of our girls couldn't make it for Thanksgiving,




























Bella found an ornament I bought years ago that plays a Christmas song and has a little train that goes around the track and she loved it. She sat on my bed and watched it for almost 45 minutes -- and she was very gentle with it. She is such a sweet little girl. 






















































We got our tree the Friday after Thanksgiving and actually have it up now with lights only.

































Grandson, Asher, with Megan -- our daughter from Georgia.






























Reagan and Bella -- they are good friends. 

























I almost forgot this picture I took of Katie and Bella on Thanksgiving day that I really like. Katie loves to take Bella places -- Starbucks, Target, etc.







Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Article 5 Letter

I am finally feeling like this adoption is really going to happen. Ever since we began the process of adopting from China, I have felt like it just isn't real -- that it isn't really going to happen. Even when we had our LOA I kept thinking something would happen. Then we had our problem with USCIS and I thought -- we will lose this little girl over a paperwork problem. But, it got sent to our agent's supervisor and she did a wonderful job getting things solved and actually did it pretty quickly. 

Now we are waiting for our Article 5 Letter pick-up, and then we will wait for travel approval (TA).
I am thinking we could actually have travel approval by Christmas or maybe a week or so after. Then we will hopefully travel in January. That seems so soon to me right now after it seeming like it might not ever happen.

Abigail and I both have our visas now so we don't have much more to do. When I went to Bulgaria in the summer of 2012 to meet both of our girls, my daughter Emily traveled with me. It was a great trip and we actually had a very good time. We spent a week in Varna and then another week in Vetren. Abigail was suppose to go back with me on the second trip to pick the girls up, but Sarah had some medical problems and we ended up having both girls escorted. So Abigail didn't get to travel. She was disappointed and since we were pretty certain we would never adopt again I felt kind of bad. So, as soon as we made the decision to adopt from China, I knew that Abigail would be traveling with me. 

I love this time of year and now I am feeling pretty excited about finally meeting both girls. I have never adopted from China so I don't really know what to expect. I don't even know what size either girl wears or anything. The last height and weight we have on them is over a year old -- almost a year and a half. 

Such a beautiful time of year -- I have been trying to get outside and enjoy this season with the kids.




















































Bella just radiates joy -- all the kids adore her. Hard to believe that three years ago at this time of year she wasn't even here yet -- still in an orphanage in Vetren. 



























Monday, November 9, 2015

Approval!!

We got our I800 approval today! I am so relieved and happy. I was starting to wonder if it would work out and then this afternoon I got a call from our worker and she said we got approval. Just a few more steps and we will get TA (travel approval) Now I can think about the photo books that we wanted to send each girl. I just didn't want to send both books and then find out we would not be getting both girls. 

                                                              Fall Evening 


Tuesday, November 3, 2015

The Pink Maple House

The Pink Maple House by Christine Govan was my favorite book as a child. I found it in the school library by accident and read it, loved it, and then read it over and over again. I never forgot how much I loved it as a child. 

Years ago I started reading this book to my kids and they all loved it. So we are now spending our evenings reading it together again to a new group of kids. We have been reading this book at night so that everyone that wants to listen can -- even Bill listens and says he loves it.

The story is simple and sweet. Polly's parents buy a larger house and so she has to move away from her best friend, Jenny. At first the girls are sad, but soon realize that Jenny can spend many weekends at Polly's new home -- The Pink Maple House. 

The house is lovely and the descriptions in the book make you feel like you are there. It is a big old two story house that is actually white, but because it is autumn when they move in, the red and orange trees give a pink glow to the house so Polly calls it her pink maple house. 

Polly and Jenny climb up into the attic, and then can't get down. They discover a singing mouse that Polly's father helps them catch -- then he helps them make a little house for the mouse. They have simple adventures together and meet a new little girl that ends up teaching them just how blessed they are. It is a book about friendship and a simple time. I never tire of reading this book to my kids. Bethany and most of the other kids have begged me to read another chapter just about every night. I think Bethany is at a great age to enjoy it -- she is nine - but several others are listening and seeming to love it just as much as she does and they are older than her. 

Just three or four years ago the only way to get this book - published in 1950 - was to spend hundreds of dollars on an old copy or try to find it at a yard sale or used book store -- I never seemed to be able to find it anywhere except online and had to spend several hundred dollars to get it. But, a couple of years ago I saw that it had been reprinted. I couldn't believe it. So now you can get an inexpensive copy of this wonderful book. It is a book that is definitely worth reading as far as my family is concerned.