Monday, December 28, 2009

LSC and God is Good!

We got it!!!!! We got our LSC-Letter Seeking Confirmation. This is basically our referral -aka- like the day we got Jaida's picture and tid-bit of info. This states that the Chinese govt. recognizes us as his parents and is proceeding with final adoption requirements. Day 66 and we weren't counting at all-ha! The really cool thing is that I prayed that we would get something, anything be it more info or updates on him or the LSC for Christmas and I was a little sad Christmas day that my little guy was still a little elusive. Well, guess what our awesome God did? He had the Chinese govt. sign off on the paper work Dec. 24th- Christmas Eve and it arrived across the ocean today!!!!! He is so very GOOD! We are so excited and estimates on travel are March. Now, more prayers in the works as we have a 3 week span that we can not travel due to Will's work schedule but I know God is fully aware of this small detail! So without further ado we welcome with great joy our newest family member..... Xinran Martin Hatcher. We will call him Xin (Shin). He is in the Beijing Children's Welfare Institute in Beijing and is 3 years old. He was born February 1st 2006. Xin was born with VSD which is a hole in the ventricle of his heart and a cleft lip/palate. His heart was repaired in July 2008 and we found out a little bit ago that his lip/palate were repaired in June of this year. My heart breaks to know that my baby went through such major surgeries without a family there to love and care for him; however,we feel very confident in the care he has received thus far and have been told his orphanage is really quite impressive, as far as orphanages go that is! OK, now on to the next phase which is more paperwork-rush, rush paperwork- and then we hurry up and wait for final travel approval from both governments! We are truly blessed by this news and the anticipation of our new son/brother!!!!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

From Our Home to Yours......

we wish you a very Merry Christmas and Bountiful Blessings!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Gingerbread Houses

The kids were invited to our sweet new neighbors' house to decorate gingerbread,aka graham cracker, houses. We live in a very small neighborhood with only 8 houses and over the past year it has become rich and full with children as new folks have moved in! I love to watch and listen as they play, laugh, squabble, and just basically "be kids". The ages range from 3 to 13 and it is amazing how well they mix and mingle. What a blessing! It was a fun afternoon and the kids came up with some really creative houses complete with swimming pools and snowmen. They decorated cookies too and it was a fabulous way to celebrate this special season. Thank you Gibbs family for a wonderful afternoon!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care....

in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.As you can see there are 6 stockings, well 8 if you count the bunny's and the dog's. All I want for Christmas is my son! St. Nicholas, can you deliver? It is amazing how much you can miss and love someone you have never met. I am feeling it even more over the holidays because I feel his absence, like someone is missing from our clan. Today is day 60 from LID-log-in-date, and I am praying we get our LSC-letter seeking confirmation-before Christmas. I want to know that 6th stocking is officially ours. Really, in all honesty, I want his little body in my arms, I want to kiss his little cheeks and watch the joy on his face as he is opening his presents too along with his brother and sisters. I know he is being well cared for, the Lord has given me great comfort regarding that, but he belongs with his forever family and I miss him! Merry Christmas my sweet little boy. Mama loves you and I pray God holds you in His arms, whispers to your heart, and comforts your soul.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Weekend at the Lake

Every year since the kids were tiny, they have spent a special weekend with Nana and Poppy at the lake. We drop them off and they spend the day playing, decorating cookies and then head to the Ritz Carlton to see the lights and gingerbread house. Then they have movies and popcorn, ice cream floats and hopefully go to bed at a decent hour! The next day they have breakfast and more adventures before they come back home. The kids have decided that Jaida can spend part of the day but that's it. She is sort of a time and attention stealer and a little high maintenance at this point-- I must say. So, she comes home with us and has special time by herself with Mommy and Daddy. I think next year when Xin is here we will have to split the kids up and let the older ones go one night and the little ones another. They love this special time and look forward to it every year. The Christmas decorations looked so beautiful at my parents house and made it so warm and cozy inside that I wanted to be a kid again and stay and enjoy the festivities! Thanks Nana and Poppy for creating such lovey memories for our children. We love you!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Lights at the Zoo

Each year we visit the zoo at Christmas to enjoy the Christmas lights adorning everything except the animals! It is so pretty and very festive and this year cold! Yeah! For those of you up north you are thinking about this time I am nuts for "cheering on" the cold but Christmas lights and sweat just don't match up! Last year was very warm and it just seems to steal a little something from the season. So hats, coats, gloves and off we went! It was a great time and another tradition that we enjoy as a family, creating memories that we hope will last a lifetime!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Early Morning Revelation

I am a morning person. I set my clock to get up early before my household "stirs" so that I might have my quiet time with the Lord. This is my favorite part of the day! I get my cup of hot steaming coffee and dive in. I am reading through a chronological bible and I always have some additional Christian literature I read as well, and then I say my prayers. It is so peaceful and still and I feel God there with me. I don't want it to end! This morning as I finished my prayers and opened my eyes I saw the Christmas tree before me all lit up and beautiful and green. Behind it was the window which revealed a wet, foggy and barren landscape. Such a contrast! Julia had just done some research on the Christmas tree and how it has become a part of our holiday traditions. She discovered that the evergreen is used to represent hope,strength, and life as it survived through the harsh winters, much like our Lord and Savior survives and represents life. As I gazed upon this site I was struck by the reality of this statement. There in that room with me was God, alive and vibrant, full of light and life, and beyond was the world, cold, barren and foggy. Which will I choose? The choice was obvious! But so many times I choose the ways of the world- dead and hopeless, help me Lord to choose you and yours ways, hopeful and full of life!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Mother Daughter Christmas Tea

Sunday Julia and I went to our annual Christmas Tea. Up until this year when we decided to home school, our children attended a private school with a relatively small class size. Each year since the girls were in 3rd grade a dear lady and her daughter host a Christmas Tea for the girls and their moms of the class. The hope is to go all they way through until they graduate. It is such a special time to share with the wonderful women and their precious daughters we have gotten to know over the years. We were so glad we were included in this celebration since we no longer attend this school but forever hold the friendships near and dear to our hearts! We had such a great time and it was so good to visit with everybody and to watch how these little girls are becoming beautiful pre-teens! Thank you to our special hostesses for a wonderful, and YUMMY, day! We are truly blessed by your friendships!

Christmas Tree Farm 2009

The three best gifts I could ask for under my tree!

Ok, this actually took place, our annual trip to the Christmas Tree Farm, the Sunday after Thanksgiving but I am JUST now getting around to posting-so lame! Anyway, each year we go to a cut-down-your-own-tree farm to get our Christmas tree. It is one of our favorite traditions! We start out by climbing on board the wagon for a ride out to the trees. Next, we have to play hide-and-seek amongst the gianormous trees. Of course the kids always hide better than Mommy and Daddy and never want to stop playing! We then move on to the choosing of the tree and then the ride back. We are by no means done. We must then spend way too much money on cookies, popcorn, boiled peanuts, and hot chocolate-keep in mind it is usually quite warm and we are all a little sweaty at this point to which the HOT chocolate seems a little out of place, but hey, it is Christmas and it ought to be cold! Finally, I get a picture of the kids by the wooden tree to see how tall they have grown! Before we had Jiada we would say, "Won't it be great when Jaida is with us?" How blessed we are that she is now with us. Again this year though we found ourselves saying,"Won't it be great next year when Xin is with us?" How we look forward to that day when he is included in our tradition!