Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Woo hoo! We are going to China! We really really are! I cannot believe it! We have gotcha day AND consulate appointment set! If you want dates or details send me a private message. The boys are so excited about their baby sister and are looking forward to showing her around the house when she gets home. Little man is getting clingy-doesn't let me get too far away. Oh wait, he has always been clingy! I know he will have some adjusting to do with the "new baby", so I'm trying to give them both some extra love.
We are sooooo close to our final goal, so any amount you can give would be so helpful!
Here are the fees we are looking at during our journey to bring Maire home. I have listed the detailed cost for several items and would love you to "select an item to sponsor". For example; we will have 20 meals to pay for during our trip (breakfast is included at the hotel). Each meal will cost about $10.00 USD-you can sponsor one meal for $10.00 or a day of meals for $20.00 or an entire week...whatever you find comfortable for your budget! Select the "chip in" button on the right and type in your amount! Be sure to write what you'd like to sponsor in the memo field! That way we can thank you appropriately! We cannot believe that Maire is finally coming home!! Praise God!! The sooner we get the final funds raised, the sooner we can get to Maire! All contributions are greatly appreciated! We already have $190 raised toward meals and airfare! You are all so awesome!
28 Meals: $10.00 per meal
14 Nights lodging: $75 per night
3 train tickets from Changsha to Guangzhou: $100 per airline ticket
4 Government Official "fees": $25 each
2 Airline tickets from KC to China: $1250 each
1 Airline ticket from China to KC: $890
We cannot wait to share our final journey to bring Maire home with all of you! Thank you so much for all of your love and support!
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Monday, December 20, 2010
But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31
Maire, we won't hold you in 2010. But my dear child, we will be there for you so very soon.
We will wait, another week or two...
Friday, December 17, 2010
20 Meals: $10.00 per meal
10 Nights lodging: $75 per night
3 Airline tickets from Loudi to Guangzhou: $100 per airline ticket
4 Government Official "fees": $25 each
2 Airline tickets from KC to China: $1500 each
1 Airline ticket from China to KC: $700
We cannot wait to share our final journey to bring Maire home with all of you! Thank you so much for all of your love and support!
Angie & family
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Can't blog...have to pack. Yes PACK!!!! TA is on it way!! I don't believe it--we have waited so long for TA and now it is actually almost here! I have about 100 gifts to wrap, bags to pack, house to clean, (forget any more Christmas decorating!) Money to exchange...yikes! I don't have to blog! Love you all and cannot tell you how amazing you have been! Enjoy this picture of our big girl!!!
For those who have been there/done that, you know that fund raising never ends. You can donate 2 ways: There is a chip in button or the 100 Good Wishes Quilt. Thank you!
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Some of you may know that for my 34th birthday, I got a tattoo (this was 1.5 years ago). Simply the word "Believe" above my ankle. I had never had the urge to get "inked" prior to that, so this caught most everyone I know off guard. I know that "tattoos" can be seen as "trashy" or "inappropriate" by some. (And if you are in that category, I think you're wrong BUT that is for a different post-haha) But to me, it was a devotion of love for God, the blessings He has given me, the positive mental outlook He bestowed on me, and the general belief in all things good. There are days that I stray from my faith, moments in time where I forget that I am His--doing His work, not mine, my love for Him fading. But this permanent blue ink is always there-never faint. Constant...like my faith should be.
The adoption process has been the most challenging time of my life. We learned today, 5 weeks into our "2 week wait" for our travel dates, that we need to resend one more document that seems to have gotten misplaced. They should have it on Monday, then we should have our travel dates 2-3 weeks after that. I stared at the email in disbelief. The reality of this "minor paperwork hiccup" hit me like a lead weight. I would not get to hold my girl this year after all. No Christmas with Maire. I felt my heart break--it literally hurt.
Seven months ago, I saw my sweet girl. I never dreamed she would not be in my arms by Christmas. It was inconceivable to imagine. Never entered my mind. But here we are, 22 days away from her 3rd birthday and 24 from Christmas. Her Christmas dress hanging in her closet, new with tags. Her gifts, along with her brothers' gifts, tucked safely in a box in the bottom of the closet. Tomorrow, I will pull them out, wrap them, and ship them to her---thousands of miles away. I won't have her picture in our holiday family portrait this year. I won't see her face smiling at twinkling lights of the Christmas tree. I won't see her tear into a wrapped box, eyes wide as she prepares for what might be inside. No, not this year.
Believe... staring at me right now below the cuff of my stupid snowman pajamas! Believe--what does it mean right now to me? What is God telling me? Shall I believe in Christmas miracles? Or perhaps believe in "His timing"? Maybe "believe" is reminding me that God does not punish, even though there are days that feel like it? Shall I believe in the power of prayer? Or believe in His word? Tonight, Believe will simply mean this: I Believe that God is in control...because He is.
Saturday, November 27, 2010
This is amazing! I have always wanted to do a flash mob! I sang the Hallelujah Chorus in high school state choir and it was truly an honor to be part of it. Despite the food court setting, this still brought tears to my eyes! God is so good. HE shall reign forever and ever! Praise him!
Saturday, November 20, 2010
I have no news! yet again...another week with no update! Holy Guacamole (this is the new one from my 5 year old!) The good news is, I am so very lucky to have amazing kiddos to keep my mind off of this adoption anguish! We decorated gingerbread houses today! It was a blast. Tomorrow is church, then my nephew's birthday party and Sunday Football (Go GIANTS!) An awesome day for all! Both the boys are battling some sort of "bug". Jack was home sick 2 days with terrible cough, and Jude has started running a slight fever in the last few hours. Praying we all wake up fully rested and healthy!
If travel approval comes on Monday, there is a slight chance of December travel. I could give you 100 reasons why I want to travel in December--the most being...my arms ache to hold my girl! I believe in miracles, and I believe that if God wants Maire home in December, then Maire will be home in December.
We continue to pray for her safety and well being. We long to meet her and enjoy her company. We can't wait to see her play with the toys we've gotten her or see her in the cute newsboy hat I picked up yesterday. Her Christmas Dress hangs next to her brothers Christmas sweaters---matching of course! I can only pray I get to see her in it! It is a hard time to celebrate knowing she is so far away, but my boys excitement for the holidays brings me so much joy! I am blessed, I know I am. Now I just need to remain patient!
Thank you for your prayers! I know they work wonders!
Sunday, November 7, 2010
On a high note, rumors are that TA's are on their way....I hope to have good news to share very very soon. Maybe my "T" will be TRAVEL APPROVAL!
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
A cookbook! Been done before, I know, but it might just work. So, I need your recipes! Yes, yours....! Send me one or ten--how ever many you want! If you have pictures, that would be so great! I am going to have it together in time to sell for the holidays, so if you have a holiday themed recipes, that is great. If not, send it anyway. I'll find a place for it! Apps, desserts, drinks, main, side...whatever you've got that you are willing to share! Email me at travelquest1ATyahoo.com, or respond here. Thank you so much! I will begin assembling the recipes as soon as they start coming in, so if you can get them to me by week's end, that would be great!
Now go get cookin'
Sunday, October 31, 2010
So we have reached the end of this journey, I think! A few weeks ago I posted about receiving our Article 5, but it actually wasn't. Then our agency contacted us the next day and said "YES, that IS your article 5." But then a week later we discovered it really wasn't the Article 5---again. Needless to say, I am a daily user of Pepcid! Then we learned the agency misplaced a very important piece of paperwork, so we had to wait for a duplicate to be printed and mailed to our agency (that took 2 weeks). Then our agency had to overnight it to our facilitator in China. He then had to hand deliver it to the US Consulate, but you can ONLY do that on Mondays or Thursdays. So finally on the 7th, it made it to the consulate. I contacted my agency week before last and they had not update for us. So...I contacted the consulate myself! And they returned my email! They were so very gracious and let us know our Article 5 (yes, the REAL one) would be ready for pick up on the 28th! This is the "one" we've been waiting for! Now it gets picked up by our facilitator on Monday, overnight to Beijing to the China Center of Adoption Affairs, and on tuesday, we should be "officially" waiting for Travel Approval. Yes, we have heard that before ("TA" is next), but unfortunately our agency is learning right along with us--nothing is as easy as it seems! However, we are both 100% that TA is next! Now some folks saw the TA's come in less than a week. Others have been waiting almost 4 weeks. The average is 2-5 weeks. There seems to be no real format for processing the TA's (that we can see) so we are praying that our early LID (10/18/07) and they consider the very long wait since we've received our Letter of Approval for Maire (May 28, 2010) and have mercy on us! We would love to be on a plane to get her in late November.
We received her September update from Love Without Boundaries. She is making leaps and bounds---LITERALLY! She has learned to not only walk, but run and jump! She has our photo album book now and it is her prized possession. She keeps it on her pillow, which is where I keep HER picture, too! I can't wait to just touch her sweet face.
On the homefront! Halloween is upon us and the boys are truly enjoying the season. Jude and I hung giant spiders and cobwebs out front, along with a few gravestones! Jack's standard achievement test came back on Thursday---we have our work cut out for us. Apparently, his overall testing scores are at a 7th grade level, and his reading comprehension at a 10th grade level (Jack is our 3rd grader)! Maybe we have a "Harvard Grad" on our hands! Jude's very first PAT conference was GREAT! He is doing amazing at letters, numbers, handwriting, and overall behavior. His only drawback--he is a bit too social! He loves to talk :) But, that is my Judebug! He is life of the party, even in Kindergarten!
My midterms grades were very good, which I am so thankful for! It has been 13 years since I graduated from college! I have about 2-3 semesters left before I am officially certified to teach in the state of Missouri!
Andy is working his tail end off as the soul "bread winner" for this growing family. He has truly been amazing. A great example to his boys, an amazing husband to me, and an example for others to look up to. Off to work at 7:30, eating lunch at home to save money, home at 4:30 or later, walks the dogs, carves the pumpkins, takes Jude to dance, takes out the trash, picks up Jude from dance, feeds the dogs, walks the dogs (again), then off to bed--just to get up and do it all again the next day.
The house is still on the market, so if you are interested in living on the most beautiful street in Missouri, let me know! :) We are praying it sells soon. We love our home, but have decided we need a basement AND a wee bit smaller house payment!
Things are hectic around here, needless to say. Sorry I've not posted in so long, but when there is very little to report on the adoption front, it makes blogging seem so dull! Pray for a quick TA and quick resources to finalize our journey to sweet Maire! We miss her so much and cannot wait to get her home!
Friday, October 8, 2010
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Grace supplies, Love Gives, Faith receives...and we have indeed received. Our article letter issued by the Bureau of Consular Affairs come in the mail today. "This letter is to inform you that your petition has been forwarded to the appropriate visa-issuing post where the adoption interview will take place."
One sentence stating giving Maire's case #, chinese name, and the address of the US consulate. Not fancy, not even on real letterhead--THIS is our "article 5". This is the letter that tells the CCAA that it is time for the Wells' family to travel to China to get their daughter. It is time...(past time if you ask me!). In 2 - 3 weeks we should know the exact dates of travel. October dates are NOT full as rumored earlier in the week. We *might* actually go next month after all. We jumped through the hoops and over the hurdles. We danced through their red tape and sang to their drum--it wasn't pretty or graceful, but through God's grace we did it!
So now comes the final push for fundraising (like the 8th time I've said that right...!) But I'm really going to do it now....I have to!
Keep us in your prayers as we get everything in order to Maire home. Get the travel agency squared away, get the boys packed and ready for 2 weeks at Grandma's, repack Maire's bag for the hundredth time, get the orphanage donation raised and transferred to China...Holy cow! I don't have time to blog! Gotta run :)
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Ok, maybe not really, but that is how I feel right now! This week was, quite possibly, one of the most difficult weeks of my life. My poor family has suffered through my tantrums and fits, tears and laughter (or hysteria), my need to paint something (I find painting a room always eases tension), and my lackadaisical outlook on pretty much everything.
Bad news all around-I have tried to kick the devil out, but he just rears his ugly head over and over. Travel approvals came for some folks today, but not us. Turns out, we don't even have an article 5 yet (we need this before we get our TA). Another 2 weeks or so until we get that. And I just learned there are NO embassy appointments for October. Right now they are booking November dates. So if our TA doesn't come soon, the November dates will be filled and that means December travel. Maire will be 3 by the time we get her. I am furious. Just furious.
Not to mention I'm having issues with a travel client trying to stick me with a big ole bill (long story short, I trusted them to pay me and they haven't yet) grrrrr, which means when they don't pay me, I can't pay the people I owe and on and on down the line. Good times.
So, come on over to my pity party. You are all invited! I plan on going to bed (after a glass of wine, of course---NO wait, Oreo's and milk) and sleeping off this bad attitude of mine!
I will think of my brilliant boys and how very blessed that God has allowed me to raise them-allowed me to be their mom. I will be grateful that I am healthy and so is my family. I will be grateful that my husband has a job and our needs are met. I will be thankful...
Always believing in Him,
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
The house is on the market, but the economy is really not helping us out on that end. Love our little house, but it just doesn't work for us. Better get now. We'll keep you posted on Maire's adoption. Praying for travel in late September or October. I have about 10 unopened emails starring at me right now, so I'd better get busy!
thanks for keeping us in your prayers!
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Things are so busy around here, which is very good. I don't have time to set around and fret! The boys started school on August 18. Since I don't have a travel date for China, I had to give up my classroom (which was very hard to do), but it freed up some time for me to go back to school myself. I have a BA in History and 2 years towards my teaching certificate. So, I signed up for 4 classes this semester and am hoping to have my certificate in 3 semesters! That will really open some doors for me.
The weather has been hot hot hot, but finally we've got a break. This mornings low was 56...PERFECT! The high is 81 which is a little warmer than I prefer, but so much better than 102!!
Sorry this one is short, but I have to print out 20 boarding passes for some travel clients, class in 20 minutes, and I have NOT walked or fed the dogs yet! Yikes, I'd better get off the internet!!!
Keep us in your prayers. We are still a few thousand short of our goal--God will provide.
Thursday, August 5, 2010
Usually, you get an appointment date to be fingerprinted assigned to you. The wait is usually 3-4 weeks from the time your request the appointment. We were hoping to still get printed in August. Our current fingerprints expire on September 12. So Andy took the day off and we drove 2 hours to our local CIS office and prayed that they would just say, "Oh we have time to fingerprint you right now." And they did just that! Super friendly, super fast, super accommodating!! They shaved 3-4 weeks off of our wait time for Maire!! Praise God for small (and large) miracles!
Now if only may agency would take a cue from CIS and step up their game! 10-12 days for our file to make it to desk of our CIS Officer in Texas, then he gives us "provisional approval" and sends that to Visa Center, (then some other crap happens that I don't understand), but everyone promises me that Maire is at the end of the very long and windy road!
Would love to travel in September, but not expecting to. I know that the Hague Treaty is a good thing, but boy did it create a long wait in this already stressful world of adoption!
Monday, August 2, 2010
Had to file a change of country, which took 3 weeks. Then we had to file the I-800, but then found out we had to file the I-864W along with the I-800. That is going to take 10-12 days to get back from immigration. After that, we send a ridiculous amount of paperwork to the National Visa Center, who then issues Maire's PRELIMINARY visa. Then they send their paperwork to us. When we get THAT paperwork, we send it to the chinese consulate who then issues an "article 5". An article 5 is the holy grail of all paperwork. This is "THE LETTER" that says, "We the Chinese government is requesting the Wells' family to travel to China to bring home their daughter." (In a nutshell). After we get "Article 5" we then FAX it to the US Embassy in China. The US Embassy says "Ok, we can process your daughter's final visa on x date." (We prayed for a July date, then we prayed for an August date...I've stopped putting a date on that now!) The we count BACKWARDS 10 days from that date and book travel...so if the Embassy says come on October 15....we count back 10 days and book our ticket to China for that day (October 5).
Confused yet...yea, well, so are we! Oh, and throw in there our paperwork and fingerprints expire on September 12. Since travel looks like it is NOT going to happen prior to that date, we get to take a day off of work and travel to KC, Kansas to get reprinted. (oh and pay another $80 pp for biometrics).
Anyone else wonder why there are so many orphans....?
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Found myself down and out for a few days with a herniated disk. But after one visit to the physical therapist and about 100 prayers, I am at 100%! I knew God would heal me, and he did!
I had hoped Maire would be in our arms by now, but we are still waiting for our USCIS paperwork update. I will wait 10 more minutes then make my daily call to my officer for a status update! We have already sent in Maire's I-800 request and Visa paperwork, so we are moving in the right direction! I got a new picture of my sweet girl, but it came in a pdf and cannot for the life of me figure out how to get it to a jpg-but I can tell you, this child has the cutest dimple right in the middle of her chin! I just love it! And she looks like she's put on a pound or two in foster care, which is FANTASTIC!
Please pray for God to prepare her heart for this difficult journey in her future. As the end of July approaches, I must switch my thinking cap to "First day of school". Jude turned 5 this summer (see pics) and starts Kindergarten on August 18. I am praying to be here for the first day of school for the boys! I really don't want to miss it. For Jude's birthday he got a brand new Star Wars backpack and lunchbox. He put it on eagerly and has not taken it off since (I had to peel it off of him while he slept one night!) At his party, I watched him put it on the first time...and I cried. He isn't a baby anymore--a big boy. My mom and sisters saw me, understood, and teared up, too. My husband, brother in law, and Dad looked at me like I was crazy!
So, I start collecting the school supply list, getting out the uniforms and figure out what fits who and what doesn't fit and what pants need to be hemmed for Jude or patched for Jack. What shirts are salvageable and what shirts should now be used for cleaning cloths! School shoes, school shots (yikes), school haircuts, school school school!
Gotta get it all worked out, so I'm not leaving my parents in a lurch when TA comes. I am trying to plan ahead, but I know me, and I will still be running around like a crazy women when the time comes!
Monday, July 12, 2010
Saturday, July 3, 2010
I feel so much better today than yesterday, and I believe this delay has happened for a very good reason. I have no doubt. In time, we will know why, but for now, I will take this additional time to better prepare to meet my girl! And nurse my lip back to its normal size and color! In the meantime, we would love for you to visit Maire's online quilt (link below). You can write a message on the quilt that will serve as a keepsake for Maire, plus help us raise the remaining funds for travel. Check it out! And don't forget, Maire Z Doats (debating a name change to Maire Z Totes--hubby's idea) are still available, special order! Thanks, and keep sweet Maire in your prayers!
Friday, July 2, 2010
Not only am I upset that this is going to interfere with school (I have to be back in the classroom on August 15 and Jude's first day of Kindergarten is August 18), but I am heartbroken--My Maire is stuck for another month--I am missing ONE MORE MONTH of her life. I'm trying to look at the bright side, but am having trouble visioning it right now! Perhaps it will look better in the morning? Doubt it...
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
This video was forwarded to me by a good friend and I just watched it...I can't breathe. My heart literally hurts for Maire and all of these "lost girls". I just want her home so badly. I am so blessed that God chose US to be Maire's parents. Adoption is a wonderful thing, created by God. But my joy of bringing Maire home comes at unbearable cost to another mom. My heart breaks for Maire's biological mother. What her mother must have gone through making this decision. I pray God watches over her and provides her with comfort in her decision. I will take care of her daughter. I promise with all of my heart and soul. And my sweet girl who is soon to be uprooted from the only life she's known, given to strangers who look different, talk differently, dragged to a country where everything is foreign. I can only pray that God prepares her heart for this transition. I pray that she knows my soul and finds comfort in us as her parents. Our children are our world and I cannot wait to share that unconditional love with her.
We are still taking donations for Maire's orphanage--if you can spare anything, please let us know. There are still girls left there--without parents. No future...please help them if you can. Thank you...Parents Journey to China, Meet Adopted Children
Monday, June 28, 2010
Today I miss my Maire. Actually, I always "miss" her, but today hurts more than usual. I guess the reality of July 1 coming and going without travel approval is creeping up on me. Plus it is Monday and I have to work today...I love my job, but I have to be there so early!! I am not a early bird :) Oh well, considering it is the ONLY day I work this week, I think I can manage it. Plus, spending the day with 17 kiddos (ages 3 to 10) won't allow me anytime to miss my girl!
Went to Gymboree's semi annual sale and stocked up on hats for her! Yes, hats (see picture labeled "bald"). Bugs birthday is July 7 and he will be 5! I cannot believe he is going to kindergarten soon. Crazy stuff for a mom! Got a few goodies for him, but not sure what his "big" gift will be. Someone suggested a trampoline (with the safety net)...I'd like to know other's thoughts on this. I know they are fun and encourage exercise, but are they dangerous?! Is that a myth? Leave a comment if you have advice!
Off to school!! (the characters say "Child of God"...my entire family are His!)
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
As we get closer and closer to our travel date (at least we think we are getting closer!), we continue to focus our efforts on fundraising! We have received tremendous financial support from friends and family over the last months. In particular, an amazing donation that really helped ease the stress of Maire's orphanage donation! Thank you my "anonymous" friend!!
I am working on another garage sell with lots of goodies being donated by friends & family. But I am also trying my hand at sewing! I have always loved the idea of sewing and even received a sewing machine for Christmas! I had lots of GRAND ideas...new outfits for Maire. Shorts for the boys--maybe even some Halloween costumes. but I'll have to work up to those things!
I came up with this fundraiser idea one night while putting Bear's tooth in a Ziploc baggie. "I need a bag that is just for his teeth. Put it under his pillow & the tooth fairy exchanges it for a bit o' money!" (yes, I'm one of the parents that perpetuates the lies...) It turned out so cute, that I made lots of more, and passed them out to friends. Then someone says "You should sell these as a fundraiser for Maire on your website!" So here they are!!
Maire Z Doats Bags can fit coins, teeth, lock of hair, 8 crayons, lip gloss & lots of other small items for your little one. Use it as their own "handbag" or for precious keepsakes. With your choice of materials...either Girls Rock (black/pink), Sassafras (brown/aqua), Chickadee (yellow/blue), Cowboy Up (red/black cow spots) there should be one your little one will love! *I am currently looking for more boy material and will post options soon.
The small bag is $5.00 and shipping adds $2.00, but I will gladly combine shipping if you order more than one bag. I make the bags when your order them, so give me a couple of days notice. If you have a need for one right away, just let me know and I will do my best to get it to you when you need it! All of the proceeds from the bags go to my sweet Maire Bear's journey home. I hope to continue to sell them after her arrival and donate the proceeds to other adoptive families. Please spread the word!! Help me bring Maire home!
Choose from the following styles:
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Today we celebrate our fathers. If you know my father, you know what an amazing man he is. I can always depend on him for anything. He is the hardest worker I know and instilled in me the drive to succeed, but always do the right thing. He loves my children without limits. He is the one that I base most of my decisions on! Would Dad think this a good idea? Would Dad be proud or disappointed? What will Dad say? Does that mean I always do the right thing...I think not! But, none the less, my Father is a great example to live life by. And for him, I will be eternally grateful. I love you Dad.
Andy's Father--I absolutely enjoy Andy's father to no end. He is the funniest, most down to earth man I know. I am so lucky to have fabulous in laws! I mean that with my whole heart. Pop (the boys call him Pop, so know we all call him Pop!) can truly take lemons and make them lemonade. My boys are constantly entertained when Pop is around..wrestling matches, tickle torture, combat hide-n-seek (this is my favorite!). Pop is honest and good. I am always smiling when he is around! I tease Andy sometimes by calling him "Rich"-- I see so many of Pop's mannerism in Andy and they only increase as time goes on. For the most part though--don't tell Rich I said this--I love seeing the "Pop" side of my husband! I love you Pop!
For my husband, my children's father. I am a better person because of you. Not just a lame lyric from a sappy love song...but the absolute truth. When I place the weight of the world on my shoulders, you remind me to lightened up. When I let the children walk all over me, you remind me to toughen up! To think 13 years ago, when I fell completely head over heels in love with you, that I would still feel that way today. I do.
True, you hate bathing the children and will do most anything to get out it! But I can always count on the dishes being done and the lawn mowed. The trash miraculously appears on the curb every Wednesday morning. The dogs are always fed and walked, without a discouraging word from you. (except maybe that "My" dog is stubborn).
But the most wonderful thing about you is your ability to walk through this world and never conform to someone you're not. I wish I was that strong. I have spent 10 years trying to find who I really am. And you have always known me better than I know myself. You bring humor into my life everyday. I still get butterflies when I see you in a pair of jeans and a faded foo fighters t shirt (mine, by the way!). Your slightly crooked smile, your amazing brown eyes. I would be so bored with out you, my dear.
Friday, June 18, 2010
I am sooo very tired tonight, so I'm cheating! I'm sending you to someone else's blog! This is the funniest thing I've read in weeks!! Hilarious!
Top 10 Reasons why having a toddler is like being at a frat party!
We are so close to bringing Maire home. Only a few more donations needed! Can you help?!? Chip In on the right! Thanks!
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
What is Home--the place where a person, family, or household lives. Is home the same as house? Are they interchangeable? I spent the last 10 days in the same house I've lived for 2 years. I slept in the same bed I have for 2 years. I parked in the same garage, cooked in the same kitchen, vacuumed the same floor (ok, maybe I didn't vacuum) that I always have. But I was not home, because they were not home. My sweet boys were hundreds of miles away, and my girl...across the sea. I drove 2 hours to our airport today to pick up the boys and bring them home. And I will sleep soundly for the first time in 10 days. But I am still not content...having the boys under this roof has settled my soul for today. Yet, one bed sits empty, undisturbed, just waiting for her to be home. Then, maybe then, our sweet yellow house on Arrow Street will be home, finally. Or perhaps home is simply where all 5 of us are together, finally.
Sunday, June 13, 2010
We also received a HUGE contribution towards Maire's orphanage donation earlier in the week. An amazing gift that we could have never dreamed possible! My final projections have us only a few donations away from our final goal!
I cannot wait to tell Maire the story of how God loved her from the minute she was conceived. God knew her exact path. He knew the people who would be most instrumental in getting her home. He knew from the beginning...
We will forever be grateful for their contribution---for everyone's contributions-- to help bring Maire home! As my friend said to me..."This experience only strengthens my faith in God!"
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
We received an update on our Sweet Maire! She is 22 lbs, 33 inches tall and her foot is five inches! How cute?!? We cannot wait to kiss this baby girl!! She is waiting for us in Loudi Hunan Province-foster care. Her date of birth is 12/23/07. She was found abandoned at a hotel on June 22, 2008. We knew from the minute we saw her sweet face, she was meant to be ours. It was like we had met before! We have had so many "signs" from God over the last month, I have no doubt this is the right path!
We cannot wait to bring Maire home to meet her big brothers! They already adore her! Jude Bug fell asleep with her picture under his pillow a few nights ago...how sweet! Pray for a quick Travel Approval!
We will be having a big fundraiser for Maire on Saturday in Mom & Dad's back yard! Backyard Beach Party 11:00-1:00--slip n slide, face painting, treasure hunting, hot dogs, chips and cookies! Donations at the door. Please come out and help us raise the orphanage donation to bring Maire home!
Sunday, June 6, 2010
I rejoiced at the thought of having an entire week sans kiddos to clean and organize my home. Bear and Bug are vacationing in Maine with Nana & Pop. What better time to "donate" some unused toys. Sort through clothes that don't fit. Really clean--maybe even the windows **gasp**. Yet on day 2 of their absence, I sit on my comfy black rocker surfing the net...with 2 loads of clean laundry staring at me. And an unimaginable stack looming behind the laundry room door--I try to avoid that room at all costs.
While growing up, my mother kept our house immaculate. She was a stay at home mom, and I remember she was always vacuuming or unloading the dishwasher--hand mopping the floors (Thank GOD for Swiffer, right?!?) Poor woman...never had time to blog! I have yet to look as cool as she did in her kerchief tied around her hair...believe me, I've tried.
So yes, our houses may be messy (I bet your neighbors' is too) and our laundry might stage a revolution at any minute--but this blogging community keeps me sane. You guys are the ones who jump online, write your heart onto a computer screen, then publish it for the world to see. And every time we hit "publish now" remember this. Blogging may take away from precious cleaning time--but we are creating a lifetime of memories for our children to read over and over again. Our blogs will be cherished by our children far after we leave this place. Our entries will one day make our children laugh and cry, but hopefully, they will also let our children see a side to "Mom" they didn't know existed. So blog away girlfriends...the dishes will get done when they are accompanied by an odor!
Thursday, June 3, 2010
So I had a few events happen this evening that reminded me of how selfish I have been over the last few days. "My needs" have consumed me. "I need" orphanage donation money, "I need" to travel before school starts in the fall, "I need" answers to the hundreds of questions I have a day about Maire, "I need" to buy clothes for her..."I need". "I need" ice cream.
What I really need is to lighten up and let go!
I was reminded tonight that not every child who needs love is an orphan. Lots of kids have a parent (s), but they still need someone in their life who cares...being a parent doesn't always mean you're good at it. How sobering a thought?
I have been spending some time (sporadic and unannounced time) with a young lady entering her teens--she shows up on my door step needing something..one night it was a ride home, one night is was a drink, tonight, I offered her dinner with us when came knocking-she quickly accepted. 2 hours later, she was back needing a ride home. The strange thing is, I don't know this child. The first time she showed up at my door, it was late and she needed a ride home. She was walking when she got scared (it was after 9:00pm) and our house was the only one on the street with a light on. She lives about 2 miles from us. Don't misunderstand, I have no idea what this child's home life is like...she may have amazing parents. But driving home tonight, I was thinking "I hope I'm not being taken advantage of." Then I thought..."Why?" So what, maybe she is taking advantage of me. She is not harming my family in anyway. As a matter of fact, she is helping me remind my children that God wants us to be a blessing to others. This child was brought into my life for a reason. I thought she needed something from me. But maybe I needed something from her.
It isn't about me...this adoption was NEVER supposed to be about me. It is about a child who needs a home...a child who needs to be loved her entire life...a child who is free from the cold floors of a concrete orphanage. That child is Maire. And God has given me the job of meeting HER needs. God is allowing me to love her.
So...now to the 'raffle'. It is no longer a raffle. If you want a chance to win one of the "coast to coast" items, simply let me know by commenting on this post. In your comment--here comes the kicker--you have to tell me what you have done to be a blessing to someone else OR how someone else has blessed you. If you do that, then you are entered! If you want to "chip in" and donate to our cause, even better! If you don't, you are still in the running!
God knows what I need to bring Maire home. God is truly the one who provides the funds. He has advocates and angels walking this earth. A God who can breathe stars can find the funds to bring home this child.
Written from my heart and with very little forethought!
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Hi folks! If you stopped by to enter our Coast to Coast Raffle, welcome! We are in the process of bringing our daughter Maire home from China. We have about one month to raise $5000 (Yikes, I know!) But I know we can do it. With the help of friends, family & God, Maire will soon be home.
About the raffle, we have 10 items to give away (see items here). On June 20, we will raffle off the items using www.random.org. Here is how it works. Donate $25 and you will get one raffle ticket. Donate $50 (or more) and you will get 3 raffle tickets. Within 24 hours, I will send you your raffle ticket numbers via email. What if I don't have a paypal account, you ask? No problem, send me an email at email@example.com and let me know how many tickets you want, then mail me a check!
On June 20, we will raffle off item number 10 first, then work our way down to item number 1. If your ticket number is selected, you will be contacted about the item you won and we will send it to you...our cost. Then that ticket will be left out of the following drawings. However, if you contributed $50 or more, you will still have 2 more chances to win something else!
Wish everyone could win, but we only have 10 items! But this isn't just about winning, every dime in that is donated account goes to bringing Maire home. We cannot thank you enough for participating in our raffle. Email us with any questions and good luck!
Angie & Andy
Sunday, May 30, 2010
In my haste to materially prepared for Maire, I need to remember-I know I will never abandon this child. I know she can trust me to the ends of the earth and back. I know she will be ok. But she doesn't...and she won't for a long time. I need to prepare MYSELF for this long journey. I have no doubt God is preparing Maire for this huge transition. Now I need to ask Him to prepare me! Prepare OUR family. So I am doing that now. Please join in this prayer for Maire and our family as this amazing journey unfolds before our eyes. I cannot thank you enough!
Love the Wells'
"Dear Lord, on the day of Maire's conception, you knew she was created for us. Lord, we pray that your spirit return to that blessed day and heal all of her wounds--mental, physical, emotional. We pray that the beautiful heart created by you for Maire will be prepared for this amazing and emotional journey. Hold her safely during this transition. I know that her soul and mine (ours) are intertwined-may she feel our love and know we are Hers. God bless Maire.
Please prepare the hearts of our boys for this new blessing, as well. They may not always feel it IS a blessing, so give them patience and understanding as they learn to share Mommy & Daddy with this stranger from overseas.
Lastly, give Andrew and I the courage and the strength to truly understand what God has planned for us and our family. Grant us the ability to "let go" and let God continue to hold the reigns. Give us patience to parent 3 children, the wisdom to prepare them for the world, and guidance in Your word, so they may grow to be Children of God. Remove Satan and the financials fears of this journey from our thoughts so that we may see the goodness of God and the true miracle of Adoption."
We, the sons and daughters of Christ were once orphans. Through love and unimaginable sacrifice, God came to us. As promised in His word, He did not leave us as orphans. Lord, the Creator of adoption, has chosen us to be his Hands. Has he chosen you, too? We cannot change this world by adopting one child, but for one child, we can change the world. Get involved--volunteer, donate, adopt, pray--listen to God. He will tell you where He needs YOU.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
I will not leave you as orphans, I will come to you.
I’ve sat down to write this letter too many times, but this time I will finish it! Andy and I have a daughter. Yes, a daughter! For those who have followed our 3 year battle to adopt a little girl might be slightly surprised to learn she is from China!
A brief synopsis for those who care! After our 2nd son was born in summer of 2005, Andrew and I decided we wanted to adopt our next child. Blessed with two strapping young lads, we both were drawn to China and thought a little girl would be perfect. We spent 2 years researching adoption, and then began the paper chase! In October of 2007, we were officially in line as a family waiting for a little girl under the age of 2 in China. We were told the wait would be 8-12 months. By the summer of 2008, the wait had grown to almost 3 years. It would 2010 before we would be matched with a child. So we decided to look at other programs.
We stumbled across a new program offered by our agency in Burundi, Africa. We thought about it and decide to go for it! We were now “concurrently adopting,” still waiting in for a daughter from China, but also adopting from Burundi, Africa—a program slated to move much faster. On September 30 we received a match for a sweet 2 year old from Burundi, Africa who was in need of a home. We named her Zoe, and began preparing for her arrival! We were assured Zoe would be home with us by Christmas of 2009. However, in this ever changing world of adoption, things progressed much slower and came to a grinding halt in January of 2010.
With broken hearts, we decided to withdraw our application for our sweet Zoe in Burundi, Africa. The wait for a baby girl from China had grown to 4.5 years from our log in date of October 2007. We were not expected to get matched to our daughter in China until late 2012 or even Spring 2013. We had some decisions to make—not only had we invested 3 years in this process (and thousands of dollars), but our hearts had been broken, and we felt so lost.
We talked about Ethiopia, and felt it was a reliable program, but decided that raising $15K to start all over was not an option for us. So, we would wait for the Chinese government to match us with a little girl from China even though it probably wouldn’t happen until 2012.
Remember, the name of this letter is “God’s Plan”—not “Our Plan”! On April 21 of this year, Love Without Boundaries (a non profit organization working to find homes for Chinese orphans) posted a short story on a child named “Maire.” Maire turned 2 in December and was currently in need of a family. Because so many families waiting for children from China request a child under 2, Maire was going to be hard to place. She was put on a list of “Waiting Children”. We were not familiar with this list, nor ever considered reviewing those children. So God took control. Through a friend of a friend of a friend (yes 3x removed) this short story about Maire found its way into my “in box”. We immediately fell in love and within 24 hours had contacted our agency asking “How can WE adopt Maire?”
A few phone calls and emails later, and we formally requested this sweet child. It was April 28, 2010. The process follows: Our paperwork in China dated October 2007 was pulled out of the long line of families waiting. It was then put in another pile of families willing to consider a “waiting child”-a much shorter line! Our paperwork was reviewed, translated, and then paired with Maire’s paperwork. Then, someone in the government gives their official “ok” if we are a good match. This process takes 4-6 weeks. However, for us it took 10 days. 10 days after requesting Maire, we had the Chinese government’s approval to adopt her! We were shocked, but mostly thankful. We told our families and showed them the newest member! It was the Sunday after Mother’s day. It was perfect.
So here we are on May 26, making this announcement! We have a daughter, and God made her for us. What’s next? We impatiently wait for the formal letter of approval to arrive (Our agency has received it from the Chinese government and is Fedexing it to us today). We’ll sign it and return it to our agency, who then sends it overseas. After the letter is received in China, the government grants us permission to travel to China to bring her home. We’ll set up an embassy appointment in Guangzhou, confirm the dates with our overseas adoption guide, Richard, and then hop on a plane for a very long journey to Loudi, Hunan Province in China. We anticipate travel in late July, but once again, this is God’s plan…not ours!
To tell you how amazed we are at the happenings of the last month would be redundant. I can tell you that, despite my amazement, I am not surprised. We have faith that moves mountains, and that is exactly what God is doing for us…moving mountains. He brought us so far, through ups and downs we never expected or imagined, and through it all, we continued to praise and trust in Him. And this is why. He knew when He placed the desire to adopt on our hearts all those years ago, that on December 23, 2007, a little girl would be born in Loudi, China…and she would be ours.
We write you for two reasons. Of course, we are thrilled at this announcement and want to shout to the world, but we are also asking for your help. We are short of our final financial goal. You may not realize how expensive adoption can be, but the paperwork and people involved are endless and that translates to money. Since applying in 2007, we have been paying toward our China adoption. We’ve had a few fundraisers that have been tremendous in this effort. We’ve also exhausted much of our savings.
It is difficult to think about “The price of a child.” We, of course, feel she is priceless. However, we also have to stop and think, what is the cost NOT to adopt? I can’t imagine God intended for children to be parentless. James 1:27 states “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” When children are raised without parents, without families, without self worth, they become polluted. We cannot bring every orphaned child into our home, but we can bring home Maire. Please help us do that.
Please know that any amount you donate will be tax deductable when made out to Americans Adopting Orphans. You may send your contributions to us and we will forward them, or you may send them directly to the agency. Their address is listed in the margin. Please make sure you put our name (Maire Wells OR Angie/Andy Wells) in the memo.
We cannot thank you enough for your donation, prayers, and well wishes. We know that God’s plan is better than any plan we could ever imagine!
We are proud to introduce you to Maire Wells.