Thursday, December 11, 2008

Our little sweet-pea is 3!!!

3 years ago (or so they say:) In the small town if PingLiang a woman gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. A little girl, not perfect in the eyes of man but perfect in the eyes of her God. 4 months later she abandoned that sweet little girl on the steps of PingLiang SWI. 2 years later to the day of her abandonment we brought that sweet little girl home to her forever family! Happy 3rd Birthday Abby Grace. We love you more than you will ever know and we feel so blessed to have you in our lives.

To her Chinese Mama...I think of you often and I thank you for making the best decision possible for our daughter. She has touched so many lives over the past 3 years. I pray that as you look up at the stars and wonder about your child you feel the hand of God touching you and giving you peace. Thank you for this wonderful little girl.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Catching up

Wow, life gets so busy this time of year. This is the first chance I've had to update in weeks. We have had a lot going on...

The doctor is so pleased with how nice Abby Grace is healing. She once again has a precious little smile that just lights up the room. She is such a little trooper. She only occasionally cries when we have had to clean her nose area but mostly just grins and bears it. It is looking great. Don't you think?

Abby Grace's first Thanksgiving was actually celebrated twice. We spent Thursday at Nana's house and she chowed down on mac and cheese and some cherry ice-cream. Then on Saturday we went to Sean's sister's house and spent the day enjoying time with the kids. Once again mac and cheese was her favorite and she ate a lot of her Uncle Bob's delicious pot roast and rice. After dinner we spent a few hours playing rock band and she really enjoyed dancing and watching us grown ups act all silly.

Today we had a play date with a little friend from China. The girls had a great time getting to know one another. Paige is 14 months younger than AG and a lot smaller. She really reminds me of how small AG was when we first got her. They had a lot of fun playing in the floor together. Thanks Hope, we'll have to do it again real soon.

We are starting to prepare for Christmas. Mom and I spent 12 hours shopping on black Friday. We started the day and the infamous W*lmart and ended up back there for one more thing at the end of our marathon day. We found a few bargains but did a lot of just looking too. It is so fun to shop with my mom. She always finds the neatest little things. Sean was a trooper and had the kids all day long. He called a few times but really did not complain. I sure hope he likes the gifts we picked up for him. I cannot wait to celebrate Christmas this year with our family complete. I cannot wait to see Christmas through Abby Grace's eyes. I cannot believe that this time last year we did not have her in our arms yet. It just seems as though she has been ours forever.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

How are WE going to make a difference in the world this Christmas season?

We received the World Vision Christmas Gift Catalog in the mail this past week and had each one of our children choose a gift to give to someone in need in the world. I had to explain it a bit to Owen, he wanted to get the Walm*rt Christmas book out and send toys to kids:) But then we talked about it a bit and about sacrifice and need and then they decided on the following:
*Abby Grace is giving a sheep to someone in need cost $105
*Owen is giving a goat and 2 chickens to someone in need cost $100
*Jacob is giving a goat and 2 chickens to someone in need cost $100
*Victoria is giving 10 ducks to someone in need cost $60
Total cost $365.
A sacrifice of a quarter a day per child.
But believe me the cost was priceless when they realized what they were doing. In fact they wanted to buy more, like the dairy cow and the fish pond. Not this year, but that may be in our plans for next year.

If you'd like to find a gift to give someone in need you can log on to

Watch this...

...then reflect.
What can you do this Christmas season to make a difference in this world?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Hudson's MeeMaw needs your prayers

AG's best pal Hudson's MeeMaw needs your prayers. This past week she was diagnosed with cancer and is currently at the Mayo clinic undergoing testing to see if treatment is an option. We had the privilege to get to know Judy and Doug in China. She is a wonderful woman whom we care a lot about. Please visit Sharon's blog for updates once they learn anything new. Also pray for Sharon and her family. Sharon is very close to her mom and it is very hard for her to be so far away from her at this time. S-If you read this know that we are continually praying for MeeMaw and for you.


Prayer Request:
There is a family from our agency in China right now that needs your prayers. Naomi and Jeff Cuzzo received their daughter Lydia yesterday only to find out that her medical problems were MUCH more than expected. They in turn had to give her back to China. So now they sit on the other side of the world, away from their family and friends desperately in need of prayer. Please visit their blog and offer them some words of encouragement as they await what lies ahead.

A few months back the same thing happened to a single mother adopting from China and the CCAA offered her another child. If it is the Lord's will for Naomi and Jeff to receive another daughter from China then pray that his will be done.

AG Update:
Our post-op appointment went well. Actually we spent more time in the waiting room than we did with the doctor but in hos brief visit he said thing looked great. He did give us a new prescription for bactrob*n because there was still some redness on her lip area.
I asked him about the little nose job and he said he'd most likely do it when she is 4 and do her bone-graft for her jaw and palate when she is 7 or 8. We love her little nose just the way it is but he said it would be too flat to be a fully functioning nose.
Oh...she has developed the cutest little snore when she sleeps:) I'll try to get a video of it. It is so cute, but I already said that.
One more thing, our sweet girl has also developed quite a little attitude. We are praying it is just a phase from the recovery of surgery but who knows. That may be a little something she has in common with her big sister.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Smiles and laughter

This was my welcome home today. My sweet girl smiling at me and signing I Love You. She just makes my heart melt. I am soooooo lucky to have been chosen by him to be her mother.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

V and "Lizzie"

She LOVES animals!! All types of animals:)

She's smiling and sucking!!!

Well it has almost been a week since AG had her surgery and this weekend we got a great smile:) Of course I did not get a picture of it but I did get some great pics of our weekend "camping" in the backyard and making s'mores. She is also sucking coke form a straw and was so proud of herself when she did it the first time. I'll post more later this week after our post-op.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Before and After

Miss AG as a butterfly on Halloween. She got to go trick-or-treating unlike 2 of her older siblings who were grounded for bad attitudes and fighting.

Surgery Day-11/4/08
We had to be @ MUSC at 6:30 AM so we headed down the night before and stayed at a friend of a friend's house on the battery. I felt sick so I managed to go to bed a bit early only to wake through the night with IT the tummy bug:) Lucky me.
Sean took AG to the hospital for her 6:30 check-in and I stayed behind and rested a bit until he returned to get me shortly after 8. We sat in the waiting area until a little after 11 and then they took us back to see her. We really though we had prepared ourselves but oh what a shock. Now remember we've already been through 2 surgeries in the last 7 months but this time it was so different, she looked SO different. Her little swollen face and her little bitty mouth. The big open smile was gone. I quietly cried as I held her mourning the loss of that face remembering how it looked. For over a year it had been the face I saw and kissed every day and her smile had been so big and bright it just filled the room. It was gone. She just looks so different, but different in a good way. I can't wait until those little lips are healed up enough for a smooch:)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Thanks Les for tagging me. So I am supposed to list 7 random or weird facts about myself...that's hard because I really feel that I am just an average girl. Here goes...
1. I met my DH almost 18 years ago on a blind date. No dinner involved, just a date to see Kindergarten Cop. It is so funny now looking back at that night because years later he became and cop and I finished college and taught elementary school. We dated for 6 years before tying the knot. Here we are 18 years later happily married for 12 with 4 wonderful kids.
2. I love to eat cottage cheese and pringles mixed together. Well actually not mixed...I love to scoop up a big pile of cottage cheese and put it on the pringle then eat it. As a kid I used to roll cottage cheese up in bologna and eat it, yep sounds really yummy as an adult.
3. I hate going in the ocean. Maybe I watched too many Jaws movies growing up. I love to sit in the surf and just let the water wash over me. I'm not going out where I can't see what is swimming around me.
4. I have a terrible habit of picking up a large un-sweet tea and chicken biscuits from McD's almost every morning on the way to work. And here is the kicker I like it with grape jelly on it. It is the best $3.22 I spend a day.
5. I don't drink any alcohol at all. I had a brother killed by a drunk driver when I was 8 so in honor of him I just don't do it.
6. I love bugs!!! Yep, bugs. I loved science as a child and to this day I love watching bugs do their thing in their own environment of course. The kids and I spent many an afternoon last month feeding some huge silk spiders in our yard. They were so beautiful. The kids named them Charlotte and Scarlett, yea how original but the kids named them, I didn't. A few years back we had a Praying Mantis for a pet for a few weeks and we even caught crickets to feed her.
7. Like most women I hated my freckles growing up too. I used to spend so much time putting on cover-up to hide them, but today I embrace them. I don't wear much make-up at all. And I love the fact that 2 of my kids also have freckles for me to kiss just as my mom used to kiss mine.

So there you have it. & random facts about me. I told you I was just an average girl. So who am I going to tag...
*Sharon of course @
*Carla L @
*Angie @
*Pam @

Yep only 4 but everyone else I thought about has already been tagged:0)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Fall is finally here...

at least it was for a few days this week. I love the fall but what I hate is the back and forth weeks of temperatures while fall decides if it is coming or not. It never fails the temps go down and up like a see-saw and then we get IT. Yep, we get sick. Right now the leaves are falling and the temp is in the low 70s. Earlier this week it was in the 50s and 60s and yesterday it rained all day long. Tomorrow it is supposed to be in the mid to upper 70s. Then back down again as the week progresses. We all have some sort of cold thing including AG. Runny noses, chapped lips and all. Oh the joy of the changing seasons. V actually had to have a breathing treatment last night before her GS campover. I am so ready for fall to BE here and stay.

On a happier note... I took the monkeys to the pumpkin patch last weekend. We ended up with 5 little pumpkins and 4 rather large ones for less than $30. Pretty good, a lot better than getting the from Walm*rt. Plus the pumpkin patch was sponsored by a local church with all of he proceeds going to missions trips:) So here are a few pics.

Saturday, October 18, 2008


No, I am not posting a reminder to vote in the upcoming election:) But I am posting some exciting news...we have a surgery date! Yep, AG will have her lip surgery on Election day which means Sean and I get to vote early. He takes her in for her pre-op this Monday and they'll give him more deatils then. In the meantime I've got to take a lot more pictures of that sweet little face:) We're heading to the pumpkin patch this weekend so hopefully I'll get some cute shots then. I am so excited that she'll have her surgery completed before her 3rd birthday in December!!! Can anyone say studio photo session:)
We're planning a trip this December or January to visit a very special friend. I'll post more info when we get some more concrete plans. All I can say is that I am so excited and so looking forward to our little visit:)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Thursday, October 9, 2008

October 9th

It has been a whole year since we first saw sweet Abby Grace's beautiful face. It was a normal day, a day like any other but I had a feeling that it was our turn. I went to work knowing that referrals had been received and some calls had already been made. But I knew in my heart and soul that our daughter was in this batch. We'd waited through 3 prior batches and I just knew his was our time. Now, usually I had my phone with me at work and checked it all of the time. This day just seemed different. I sat with my students all day long doing the normal things and not checking my phone as much. We watched a video about bears and I wrote a note to AG on the back of it. (Yes I know I am the teacher and I wasn't paying attention but I had seen the video before.) I had recess duty and out of the blue or boredom I wrote the word "Hope" on the back of my ID badge. The school day ended and I had car rider duty. I went to check my box after the last student was picked up and I had a message to call AWAA. I knew this was it! I called Sean and asked him if he wanted me to wait to call until he could make it to school, he told me to call immediately. I walked rather slowly not to mention shaking and already teary-eyed to the teacher's lounge and dialed the number. I'll never forget the words, "We have a file of a little girl almost 2 with a VSD and bi-lateral CL/CP we'd like to offer to you for review." Offer me, are you kidding?? I knew before making the call that this was our daughter, we had left it all in God's hands. We knew what ever child we were referred we'd take. He had already pre-destined her to be our and would give us the child he had already chosen. I got a bit more about her and struggled to write down as much as I could through sobby tears. My friend Beverly walked by and peeked into the lounge. She saw me crying and was afraid something was wrong. Through tears I told her about our daughter. She sat there with me while I got more info and then walked with me back to my room. Along the way several teachers asked if I was ok, OK??? I was great I had just found out we got a daughter!!! So there I waited for what seems like an eternity for a first glimpse of that sweet little face and for Sean to show up. Beverly left my room once Sean got there and together he and I opened the e-mail. We both cried as we studied every detail of her sweet little face and expressive eyes. My mom picked V up for me and brought her to school. She walked in and asked what I was doing and I said, "I'm looking at your sister!" She instantly got it and began to sob. She finally got to see her little sister, the little girl she had prayed so hard for. As I think back on that day I am so amazed that God chose us to be Liang Wan Jian's family. I remember being bummed when we did not get a call in the previous batches but now I know why. Abby Grace is perfect for our family. I cannot imagine any other child being our daughter.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

She made it!!

Irwin Update:
Susannah made it through surgery with flying colors. The doctors were able to repair her heart and her sats are get the 90's!!! From 50something to 90something. She is no longer blue, she is pink!! Please visit their blog for full updates and some very encouraging posts from Leslie.

Thanks be to God for yet another miracle in this young child's life!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Praying for tomorrow

Irwin Update:
Tomorrow is Susannah's heart surgery day. Leslie said the surgery is expected to last 12+hours. Please pray for them throughout the day tomorrow and in the days ahead. AG had her surgery and it lasted only half of that time, of course she only had the first procedure done and Susannah is having them both done.
Leslie got a kiss today! Susannah is taking small steps towards bonding with her mommy. It is amazing to think that this time last week doctors will still unsure if she'd even survive the flight home.

AG continues to do well. She is once again eating everything she can get in her mouth. We still are not allowing her to eat hard things like chips etc...but she seems to be just happy to be able to eat again. She is back on her pasts kick, had if for lunch and dinner yesterday and dinner again tonight. Yummy...she should have been an Italian baby:)

The tummy bug hit our house this weekend. Jacob and I Friday and Sean yesterday and today. I am praying that nobody else gets it, I cannot imagine how Ag would react if she got it. Poor thing really would not be able to tell me if she felt sick or anything.

Not a whole lot happening around here at the moment. We have AG's post op next week and then we'll get her lip surgery scheduled. So, until that happens there really won't be a lot to post about. I will however keep posting an updating about Leslie and Susannah so please keep them in your prayers.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

She is home!

After 24+ hours of travel Leslie, Charlie and Susannah made it safely home. Leslie said Susannah did well on the flights and will be seeing the cardiologist ASAP. Please keep them in your prayers and visit their blog for updates on this miracle child.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Meet Susannah Irwin

Here she is! Miss Susannah Irwin, out of the hospital and one step closer to coming home.

Meet the Irwins!

Prayers have been answered and she will be coming home soon!

When Leslie and Charlie met Susannah last week it was uncertain if she would make it. Through the miracle of 1000s of prayers we know she WILL make it. She was discharged from the hospital and took her first plane trip to Guangzhou, she did wonderfully. The plan is for them to leave China a bit early so that Susannah can get home and get to Vandy ASAP. The weeks ahead will include surgery and hospitilization for her but she will be able to receive the best care available.

I am so thankful to God for answering the countless prayers for this sweet child and for giving her the opportuinty to feel the true unconditional love of a family.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Leslie and Charlie made it safely to China and had some wonderful time sightseeing and taking in the culture of Susannah's birth country. They finally got the opportunity to meet their sweet girl but it was not as they had planned. Susannah has fallen very ill and is hospitalized at this time. For complete details please visit her blog. Leslie and Charlie were able to visit with her at the hospital but due to China's strict government they have been unable to legally complete her adoption. They are hoping to have her discharged from the hospital and have her pictures taken which would be one step in having her adoption complete. The government still has custody of her until the paperwork is complete. These are a few things we need to be praying about:
* Pray for Susannah's health. May her heart be strong enough!
* Pray for the paperwork to be expedited so that Susannah can come home quickly and get the medical attention she needs.
* Pray for the Chinese officials- May they understand just how much this child is loved. May they grant the needed documents so that Susannah can become Leslie and Charlie's legal daughter so that they may bring her home.
* Pray for flights to be available on a moments notice so that Susannah can get home and get the necessary surgery at Vandy.
* Pray for Leslie- She is quite a woman of faith, she has not once said "Why me?" how many of us could say that in her situation.
* Pray for Charlie- He is Susannah's father and I know he is hurting too.
* Pray for their boys- O don;t know how much of what is going on they truly understand. And even though they have not met Susannah yet they love her very much.

Please visit Susannah's site and leave some encouraging words for Leslie and Charlie!

Friday, September 12, 2008


Our first picture with Abby Grace.
Our pre-surgery picture with Abby Grace.
Wow it has been 5 months since we landed in the good ol' USA with sweet Abby Grace. 5 months! Sometimes it seems like we've had her forever in our family, and yet other times it seems like just yesterday we met her. I am just so blessed to be given the opportunity to be her mother:)
She has grown so much in the past 5 months. She finally grew our of her 18 months and most of her 24 months cloths. Her shoe size has gone up a half size and her appetite is getting pickier. Yes, our little one who would eat just about anything has learned to be a picky eater from her big sis and brothers. She can't really be picky at this particular point because all she can eat for the next week and a half is liquids. Today she managed to each 3 things of yogurt, drink some milk and a milkshake. Tonight I blended up a can of chicken-noodle soup and she ate a little bit of it. I feel so bad about eating I won't do it around her. This morning I snuck a few little donuts in while Owen occupied her with the Lego's. I even let him eat in his room so she wouldn't see him eating. I cannot wait until this liquid diet thing is over. But then again, we've got to do it again when her lip is repaired next month.
Back to the reason for the post. She just amazes us! She does not know a stranger, she waves and greets everyone. The man at Lowe's, the mailman, people walking their dogs by our house, she says hey to them all. She loves to dance and tries to sing along to familiar songs. Wow...I can't get over how much she has developed in the last 5 months. I cannot wait to see what the future holds for our sweet little one. She truly is a blessing!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Surgery and Abby Grace CL/CP surgery #1 is over but not completed as planned. Last month when Sean met with our doctor he stated he was going to do AG's lip and palate in the same surgery. So I've spent the last month crying and mourning the loss of her sweet little smile. Fast forward to Tuesday around 11:15 am. We're sitting in the pre-op room and AG, Sean and I are in the play area passing the time. In walks our doctor. He greets us with the usual hello and then says, "So tell me what are we doing today?" What??? You're the doctor and your asking me what we're doing today! I then said CL/CP. He gives us an odd look and then tells AG to open her mouth. (Sidenote: I did not go to the pre-op with Sean but I would have thought at that appointment he would have really taken a good close look at her mouth, wouldn't you?) Anyway, he then says, "Hummm.... We'll have to see about the lip once we get in there to do the palate. It looks like it might be a little more complicated than I thought." I about fell off of the little chair I was sitting in. He then walked off to do the doctor thing. We both looked at one another dumbfounded. Why would he tell us one thing then tell us another?
At 12:05 she was wheeled back in the little red wagon, happy on the drug concoction they gave her to settle her nerves. Sean and I grabbed a quick bite in the cafeteria and then headed up to the waiting room. So there we sat playing games on our phones, checking e-mail on our phones and making a few phone calls. A little after 3 out walks our doctor. He happily walked over and told us that her palate is closed:) But her lip would have to wait until next time. He said her palate was more than he thought it would be. Was I upset, in a way. I hate the thought of her having to endure surgery again in October, but God had blessed me with that adorable little smile for a bit longer. Maybe he knew that I was not ready, maybe he decided that I needed more time. Maybe he realized that she missed her school pictures on Tuesday and that they are having make-ups tomorrow:) Whatever the reason we now have 6-8 more weeks of that sweet smile...oh how we love that smile.

Leslie update:
Leslie and Charlie left this morning to get Susannah. I did not have a chance to talk with her yesterday because I did not have our laptop at the hospital. I did read her post from yesterday on her blog and according to an update she received on Susannah things are not looking good. Susannah has a complex heart condition and they are not even sure she will be able to survive flying home. They have gotten an oxygen request approved from the airline so that is a plus. Please lift them up in prayer throughout their journey. The Lord works miracles everyday and I know he can work a miracle and allow Susannah to come home to Tennessee to be with her family. Please visit their blog and offer support to Leslie and Charlie. I know they would love to know how even complete strangers are praying for them.

Sunday, September 7, 2008


Well the time has come for a sobby post. In a few short days the face we have grown to love will be forever changed. I have cried and cried as I have thought of this finally happening. Her face is so perfect in our eyes and in the eyes of her maker. My heart is just aching for the pain she will endure after her surgery. I have been busy getting tips from BTDT parents on what to feed her after surgery and how to care for her mouth. I had planned on only taking off the day of surgery and the 2 days following. Today I made the decision to take off Friday as well to really give her some time with me as she recovers. Not that Dads and Nanas aren't good caretakers, but mothers are always better. Please lift Abby Grace and her team of physicians up in prayer this Tuesday. Pray for her little body to heal quickly, pray for her spirit to be as bubbly then as it is now. Pray for the physicians hands, that they be steady and skilled in what they do. Pray for our family as we care for Abby Grace after surgery. For patience and gentleness.

:) Update
Leslie will be leaving this Thursday to get Susannah or "Zanna" as Abby Grace says. She has waited a very long time to bring Susannah home. Please lift them up in prayer as well. They are leaving their 2 boys home with grandparents. Pray for safety for the entire family and pray for the grandparents caring for the boys. Susannah as you know has a complex heart condition and CL/CP. I know the fear Leslie is experiencing at this time. Please pray for peace in her heart. Let her trip to China to get Susannah be one filled with only times of joy and happiness.
Please follow her on her journey by visiting her blog. And if you have time to leave her a little encouraging message that would be great. It was so great to know that we were being prayed for when we were in China:)

Friday, August 29, 2008


We finally have a surgery date! September 9th. A bit nervous would be an understatement of how I am feeling. I am so mixed up inside with the whole idea of changing my beautiful daughter's face. She has them most amazing smile, the cutest little nose and the sweetest little voice. Both will be changed on September 9th. I know that this surgery is medically necessary but changing her beautiful face just makes me so sad. I have talked with many other adoptive parents who have felt the same way, so I know this is a normal feeling. I do need to do one thing before surgery. I need to make an appointment at Sears or Wal-mart and have some pictures taken of our sweet girl. Hopefully she won't hate me when she is older but I need these pictures so that I can capture the sweet little face that we have fallen so in love with.
On another note, Abby Grace started pre-school this week. She loves it. She is having a great time and has won the hearts of everyone. She will be in school next week but will be out for several weeks after surgery. We are so blessed to have her at a Christian day school where she is learning about her Lord and savior. They have agreed to hold her slot until her return and not charge us for the time out. That is great because we'll be paying our sitter to watch her at home while she recovers.

Other kiddo updates:
V just entered the 5th grade and is playing JV tennis for her school team. She is having a great time. She'll be 10 in just a few weeks. I still can't believe that we are about to have a kid in the double digits!
Jacob just turned 7 and started public school this year. He has an awesome teacher. He really seems to be enjoying school and being able to eat in the cafeteria. He taught himself how to swim last month and even flips off of the diving board. He has become quite a little fish.
Owen moved up to the almost 4 year old class at pre-school this year. He, of course, has quickly made new friends and is having a great time. Sean and I were talking the other night about how well mannered he is. I sure hope AG picks up on manners too.

Leslie update:
My friend Leslie, whom I mentioned many posts ago, will be leaving in 2 weeks to bring her daughter Susannah home. I cannot believe the time has finally arrived. She has been waiting so long for her TA. If you would like to follow her journey click on Susannah on the left of my blog.

Prayer request:
A fellow AWAA family who returned home this summer with their daughter suffered her tragic loss this week. Their daughter Anna also had a heart defect and was actually in for a heart cath when she coded. Doctors worked on her and stabilized her but things did not improve. She went to her heavenly home Wednesday evening. Please pray for the Gooden family from Tennessee. You can find a link to their blog on Leslie's blog.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Home 3 months...where has the time gone?

It is so hard to believe that we have been home for 3 months today. This time 3 months ago we were sitting on a runway in Chicago about to begin the last leg of our journey to Abby Grace. It is amazing how much she has changed from the small little girl we met in China. She is amazingly intelligent and such a joy to be around. She is really coming into her own. She says no when she doesn't want to do something and then cries the biggest crocodile tears when you make her do it. She loves to give hugs, kisses and high 5s. She is such a great kid. Today she was doing somersaults in the living room with Owen and would clap when we said yeah. Just the cutest little thing. Tonight at dinner when we said grace she folded her little hands and closed her little eyes and tried to sing along, it was so cute:) We had a blast at Mrs. Martha's pool on the 4th of July and she loved riding the jet ski at the lake on the 5th. She was not supposed to get her head in the water because of her tubes but that did happen a few times. I need to see about swimming lessons for her and Owen this winter. Neither one of them is afraid of water. We'll really have to watch them closely at the new house.

We went to MUSC and got fitted for her appliance this past Thursday. They have not cemented it in yet but will this Thursday. They sent it home with us and told us to let her get used to it being in her mouth. Yeah right:) She hates it of course. We've tried making it a game and she manages to leave it in for about 20 seconds and then spits it out. I guess when they stick it in with fixadent next week she'll just have to learn to deal with it. I was a bit concerned when we left the doctor. She had told us earlier that Abby Grace is the oldest child they have tried this NAM procedure on. It is usually performed on infants while their bones are still soft enough to mold. She said she'll know in about 3 weeks if it is even going to work. If not they'll just do surgery the way her lip and palate are now. That came as a bit of a surprise. Why are we even putting her through all of this if there is a high chance that it won't work? I don't know, it was almost as if the doctor really did not want to do it at all. Maybe I was reading her wrong but that was my interpretation. I'll let you know how it is going later.

A few weeks back I posted a prayer request for a friend here is an update. My friend Leslie and her husband are adopting a little girl 2 months older that AG. She has a cleft lip and palate and a heart condition that is complex. They are currently awaiting their RA, the document in which China OKs you to adopt a particular child. Well this past week they received an update with some scary info. Susannah was taken to a hospital in China for heart surgery! This was a big shock and there was not a lot of info available to Leslie and her family. Our agency thinks the surgery was already scheduled before they sent their LOI so they were just proceeding as planned. Our agency does not know if this surgery was an emergency or not. But no matter why the surgery is being done now it is just important for us all to pray for them. Pray for Leslie and Charlie as they await info on Susannah. Pray for their paperwork in China to get approved and their RA to be processed quickly. Pray for the team of physicians who are caring for Susannah right now. Pray for Leslie's heart that she feel peace knowing that God is taking care of all of Susannah's needs. If you would like to offer them prayers of support you can visit their sight at

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Lazy Summer Days and Ice cream

Boy are we having a lazy summer. V, J and O have been attending day camp at the YMCA every other week. They seem to be having fun but hate the early morning wake-up to get there on time. If only camp started at noon:) On the weeks they don't go to camp they are rarely out of the bed before 9 and V usually sleep in til 10 or later. I remember those days. Staying up late and sleeping in late. Oh the memories:)

Abby Grace is doing fantastic. She had her tubes put in her ears two weeks ago and has had no problems at all. We head back to MUSC for her appliance on the 10th of July and then the wait begins for surgery. Depending on how long it takes for her mouth to mold surgery could be anytime after August. I pray for quick but painless movement. I know the appliance will take a lot of getting used to. Kind of like having braces in a way. The days of adjustment will be the hardest. Lots if soft food and ice-cream. Speaking of ice-cream...the ice-cream truck is back. Abby hears the music and her face lights up, V has taught her so well. She loved her push-up and the bath that follows.

It is so hard to remember life with out this little miracle. Everyday she brings enormous joy to our lives. She has changed so much in the last 2 and a half months. She knows we are her family and she knows that we all love her dearly. She and O have a thing they do every night. I tell her it is time for night night and we go around the house kissing and hugging everyone. Then we go to her room where she turns off the light, winds up her music box and then I put her in her crib. Then every night she yells for Owen to give her kisses. She yells his name until he comes in. Then he climbs up on the chest at the foot of her crib and repeatedly kisses her. She keeps going back for kisses with her cute little puckered grin until I shoo him out of the room. It is so sweet. He loves her so much and always calls her Abbigail, not Abby or Abby Grace. He is such a good brother.

I have a prayer request I'd like to share with you all. Another family in our agency, whom I will not name until I have her permission, has accepted a referral for a daughter with a heart defect similar to Abby Grace's only a bit more severe. Right now they are awaiting their approval and hope to travel this fall to bring their daughter home. They will have to take oxygen with them on the plane for their journey home to ensure their daughters safety. Please pray for them as they wait to bring their daughter home, pray for their peace and pray for their daughter's health as she awaits their arrival. As a mother I know what this woman is feeling. I know how she longs to be able to hold her daughter. I know how she worries about her daughters health. Again, please pray for her and her family.

Friday, May 30, 2008

No Orphans of God

I found this amazing video on another blog and just had to share it. God used Sean and I in a way we never even imagined when he placed adoption in our hearts. Many people have told me how they would love to adopt but aren't sure they could do it. We had those same thoughts when we started this process but when the Lord tells you what to do you do it and just rest knowing that he will see it through.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


Wow, It is hard to believe that in 2 short days we will have Abby Grace in our family for 2 whole months. The time has flown by so quickly. It feels like we have had her forever. As I think back over the last 2 months I am amazed at how well she has adjusted. Going in to this adoption I was so scared that she'd not bond well with us or that she would miss her past. No problems there, she fits in perfectly with our family. She loves her brothers and sister and adores her daddy. She likes to place her hand in Nana's hand but still does not want Nana to pick her up. The other night she even gave her Papa a kiss. It melted my heart. He was the only person in our family who was unsure about the adoption thing. I knew once he met her she'd melt his heart and she has.

We got a wonderful surprise for Mother's Day, yes I know that was several weeks ago but I have not had time to post about it yet. Anyway, my sister Elizabeth flew in from Toronto to spend the weekend with us. She had originally planned on coming down to surprise us when we got back from China but things did not work out. So she decided that she'd give up Mother's Day with her own 2 kids to spend it with us. I had no idea she was coming but it was a great surprise. Abby Grace liked her a lot as did the rest of the kids. Owen wanted to know why she did not bring Mary Ruth and Duncan with her but he loved spending time with her uninterrupted. It was great to see her and to introduce Abby Grace to her special aunt.

We have a few appointments scheduled in the next few weeks. Abby grace is having a hearing test this Thursday just to make sure everything is working in that area. Then she has another follow-up with her cardiologist. He was very impressed with how well she was doing at her last appointment. In fact she has gained a pound since her surgery! We met with the cleft team at MUSC and they are making a mouthpiece for her to wear for a few months before they will perform her surgery. The piece is designed to move her bones to the proper position to give her the best results from the surgery. That means instead of surgery getting done this summer like we had hoped it will be done this fall. She'll have to wear the piece all of the time, I'm sure she'll like that. The doctors actually said it will help with her speech because it fits into the space and gives her a fake palate. Speaking of speech, she is jibber-jabbering a lot.