Thursday, December 5, 2013

Home Sweet Home!

My family is now safe and sound at home. They got in this morning at 5:30. My older brothers and I greeted them with spiderman balloons and a sign in Chinese (a very strenuous effort). Not surprisingly, Daniel and Matthew were at first a little overwhelmed and stuck close to those familiar family members. On the car ride back, though, they warmed up and enjoyed themselves. 

When we got home, they loved their room, picked out their beds and then ran to play outside. They have been there all day (that is, after a prolonged nerf/rubber band gun battle, inside, of course). The battle was hysterical (Daniel dressed up in bed comforter, belts, and a pink dress-up hat) but poor Matthew got hit in the eye and quit. So, he came into my dad's office and enjoyed himself laughing at my dad's old college/high school pictures. I guess the American 80's are a little foreign to him. He kept pointing to the pictures and asking, skeptically, "Father?" When we said yes, he would burst out laughing. 

The two new boys have enjoyed basketball, chalk, jump rope, playing with the dog, and riding falling off of bikes. They are all three (Joshua included) dressed in identical clothing except for color and from a distance it is incredibly hard to tell them apart. 

My mother and little sister are enjoying some much needed rest. 

Do you remember that lovely picture of their room from a previous blogpost? Well, after less than 12 hours, they have left their mark on the room (it is worse in real life than I could fully capture in this picture). It is now, officially, a boy's room. 

Blessings to all! Thank you so much for your prayers! More pictures soon!

Monday, December 2, 2013

The Boys Become Roes

Last night, while we Americans were sleeping, Daniel and Matthew officially became Roes at the consulate ceremony. The boys themselves cannot pronounce their names. Matthew says his last name is Loe, and Daniel pronounces it Joe. Oh well, we will take what we can get for now.

The Three Chinese Roe, Joe, Loe Boys!
The boys are doing great. Daniel is a little bit wiser and more mature. Matthew is just crazy and silly. Skypeing with them is a treat.

We held up Chinese flashcards of the most random phrases imaginable and Daniel and Matthew responded to them just for laughs. They are both total hams. One of the cards said: "You're thirsty, get a drink," so they both ran and filled up cups. Another said, "It is dark, time for bed," (it was morning China time) and Matthew responded "Mao" (no). Funniest though was the card that said: "It's snowing" and the boys ran to the window (joking of course). They are good at making us laugh.

This face gives you a little perspective.

And this one

And this one

He's a silly one.

My parents got the opportunity to visit their orphanage

and meet their foster parents

and these guys!

We are so happy to say that the little one to the far left is being adopted! My parents took him a package from his parents. You can read about his adoption here:

When they went shopping yesterday, Daniel found a crucifix in one of the stores and began asking about it. He made the connection that the prayers my dad says before meals are to the man on the cross (Yesu). Later, when my dad told Daniel that Christmas celebrates that same man's birth, Daniel proudly pulled out a picture of Santa Clause and pointed to it saying: "Yesu?" Surprisingly, when they got back to the hotel, Daniel drew a picture of a Bible and asked Julia if he could have one in Chinese. Interesting, huh? He's definitely heard at least some of this stuff before. He also drew a picture of China, America and the whole world and asked Julia if Jesus loves all of those. Oh, sweet boy! It is so evident that God has had His hand on Daniel!

The whole gang will be home Thursday morning! Please pray for safe travels and a continuing good transition for the boys (and us)!
I sent letters to both the boy and my parents' guide translated them

They looks pleased, don't they? I am glad I took the effort to write them.

Their bed!

Christmas Decorations are up at the Garden Hotel!

Daniel loved this statue!


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

For These Children I Prayed

For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition that I made to Him. 1 Samuel 1:27

Thank you all for your prayers for Matthew! He is happy now and pretty silly! Getting on the bus today to go make the adoption official was a little scary for Matthew who didn't know what was going on. My parents' guide finally told him and then he felt better. Daniel is less worried about stuff like that it seems. They both are pretty trusting of Mom and Dad. Matthew is very sweet little guy and is pretty happy with everyone now!

Julia and Matthew over Skype this morning

On the bus, Daniel patted the seat next to him for my mom. Sweet boy! The guide told the boys that this paperwork would make their adoption official and the boys still did it. They each had to go through an interview and write a statement (I guess saying they wanted to be adopted). Apparently Daniel went behind the government official's desk and pointed out all the documents with his name on them and then proceeded to tell her all the ones with his brother's name before the guide told him to move. Daniel was really trying to be helpful as is characteristic of him. He cleaned up the hotel room today without being asked.

Waiting on Paperwork

This morning I got to show Daniel and Matthew their room, the dog, outside, and the lake. They smiled and didn't understand my faltering Chinese. I was trying and they were lost but that's okay because we were connecting on a very personal level. I made a series of funny faces into the camera and Matthew burst out laughing. They showed me their art and their video game. I think they like their older siblings. I hope they like us in person too!

It is hard to wrap my head around the fact that these little boys, the ones we have been praying for all these months, are really sleeping in the room with my parents and playing with my little siblings during the day. God is so good!

Both boys are much smaller than expected, so a shopping trip was in order to get right sized clothes.
Shopping for new clothes
Back in the hotel room, the boys enjoyed playing games with their new siblings. Apparently the panda bears (which all three Chinese boys have) were used in a violent panda bear battle which all the boys loved.

Sibling Time! (just can't wait until I can be part of the group)

Monday, November 25, 2013

God is Faithful Indeed!

GOTCHA DAY AT LAST! After all these months of waiting and hoping and praying, Daniel and Matthew are finally with our family! We cannot express the joy and wonder of God's grace to us in letting us bring these wonderful boys into our family!


This morning we got to skype with our family for about two hours. Daniel and Matthew are at the hotel with my parents/little siblings and seem to be doing well.

They both want to be called by their Chinese names which we fully expected and fortunately we have been pronouncing them correctly all this time so we already could say them.

We tried out our (extremely short) list of Chinese phrases and Daniel laughed at us. Matthew just sat there and stared. We hear that Matthew isn't feeling too great and was very sad to leave his friends. McDonald's helped him feel a little better but he was very quiet and subdued during the beginning of the skype call.

He didn't respond to much over skype until Daniel remembered to give my dad a flash drive and Matthew brought out his own. They both had pictures of the boys and their friends and Matthew perked up a lot and showed us all the pictures and chattered away in Chinese telling us who everyone was. He laughed at all Daniel's pictures and then proceeded to show us almost every item from the backpack he brought with him and wouldn't remove the item from the skype screen until he received appropriate response (which meant loud praise). He seems convinced that we understand Chinese and told us what everything was. Mom is going to ask the guide tomorrow what everything is. There seemed to be some soccer awards which Matthew was particularly proud of.

Daniel showed us all his art and some of his photos though he was embarrassed of some and didn't want us to see (so Matthew showed us). News is that Daniel and Joshua hit it off at once and spent the afternoon drawing. They held an arm-wrestling match for us to see over skype.

Mom and Dad were happy that Matthew showed us all his stuff as earlier he had been unwilling to show them his prized possessions. Matthew opened up more to us than he did to them and it was a good breakthrough. He seems much happier now than before he knew us.

Both Matthew and Daniel knew my brothers' names and they knew that John Morgan plays violin (it was in a note that we sent them). They also knew the happy birthday song and sung it for Stephen (whose birthday is today). My name, Abigail, presented more trouble for them ("L's" are not too easy) but they tried. Matthew took out his photo album (that we had sent them) and practiced everyone's name. The dog's name (Posie) was extremely humorous to him and he laughed every time he said it.

Practicing the dog's name

Daniel and Matthew were acting silly and playing with us by the end of skype and we had a good time after the initial awkwardness wore off. Daniel is all smiles and Matthew started smiling after the flash drives came out.

Praise the Lord! Daniel and Matthew are doing well.

Daniel with Mama

This is how Matthew felt until after McDonald's and skype with his older siblings. My parents say he is in great spirits now besides feeling a little sick.
McDonald's for Dinner!

Daniel started unpacking as soon as he got in the hotel room. Yeah, he was really ready for a family. He knows that our family is for good.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

China at Last!

My parents are safely in Guangzhou! They arrived last night and are up today ready to go get the boys this afternoon (early morning our time). 

 Joshua at breakfast in China! (Notice the lack of Chinese food + chopsticks) 

Julia and Mom at breakfast!

The boys' room waiting for them! 

In keeping with tradition started by my great-grandmother, we have made the boys their Christmas stockings to match everyone else's. Since the boys will be home for this Christmas (not just next like we thought!), we are happy we got them done in time! 

Friday, November 22, 2013

We are coming, Daniel and Matthew!

We should have written something some time ago, but we have been happily busy. Can you guess the reason for our busyness?


Yes, tomorrow, bright and early we will be boarding a plane to China, to our Daniel and Matthew. Monday afternoon (Sunday night/Monday morning American time), we will finally get to meet our boys!

Just 3 more days before two more orphans have a family. Three more days before we can finally hug the boys we have loved so long. Three more days before . . . our lives change forever.

Please pray for our safe travel. Please pray that frustration and high stress levels do not prevent us from rejoicing in our journey. Please pray for our children left here that they will not go crazy waiting. Please pray that technology works and we can communicate daily with our three oldest here. Please pray that Daniel and Matthew are at least semi-prepared for us and please pray we will soon be united as a family in person and spirit.

Our daughter will be posting while we're in China. We will keep you updated on our adventures.

We cannot wait for our boys to meet all of you wonderful people!
We are coming, Daniel and Matthew! We will be there so very soon! 

Sunday, September 15, 2013


We received our "Letter of Seeking Confirmation from Adopter" (LOA) on Wednesday! (This is the letter from China that we have to sign to confirm our intent to adopt these children).

The next step is further approval from the US government. We sent off for this but it takes at least three weeks. According to our caseworker, November is a good date to have in mind for travel. We are trying not to get our hopes up, but at the same time, we are working on preparing the best we can. Next blog post we'll post pictures of our current work in progress...their bedroom!

Please pray that we can bring home Daniel and Matthew in November! Since Wednesday we have all had the realization of "WOW! THIS IS REAL!" Please pray that Daniel and Matthew are being prepared for this same realization!