Take me out to the ballgame

...and little league is in full swing. Jack's first game of the season! Sitting in the bullpen with a large group of very excited 8 years olds provided plenty of entertainment for the evening. Now I have an idea of what it would be like to teach 2nd grade. The flow of conversation is well... not really flowing. It goes something like this. "What if we had a real hornet on our hats? What if Buzz Lightyear was here to zoom us around the bases? It would be cooler if Pokemon Diamond could do that... Hey did you know we get cookie cake. Is it time to eat cookie cake?" Hilarious. They are a great group of boys and played a great game. Go Hornets!!!

Jack at bat.

Jack and his best bud Max.

Smile boys, team photo. I never knew how interesting dirt could really be.


Last days of vacation

We had wonderful weather and the kids enjoyed every minute of it. Now it's back to St. Louis but hopefully spring weather is just around the corner and we can continue to play outside in the sunshine.



We're having a great time. The kids are swimming, loving the beach, and enjoying the warm sun. I love the beach. I love the sun. I love that the kids are so fascinated with the sand, shells, ocean and are so content to spend so much time just playing. We spent one overcast morning bowling which was fun and funny!
Brian has spend endless hours doing adoption stuff. It's amazing what a process it is just getting plane tickets and coordinating everything. We are finally set- tickets are bought. Any now I'm anxious about leaving my kids. I'm not sleeping well and feel so worried about being gone so long. We are so blessed to have help from so many friends but it's such a long time to be gone. I know they will be fine but I will be one emotional wreck of a mama. I have 2 1/2 weeks to prepare and I know it will all get done. I just need to take a deep breath and know it will all be O.K.


Our day at Sea World and the Nickelodeon hotel

We are back from our day at Sea World. The kids had a great time. We got here yesterday and had not told them we were staying at the Nickelodeon hotel. We totally would not be staying here as we don't watch this channel at all. We are more Playhouse Disney watchers but it was seriously the least expensive (that's a fancy word for cheapest) place to stay. The water park in the middle was a big hit despite the cooler tempaeratures. The rooms are crazy, all painted in characters we don't know but with fun bunk beds for the kids. Sea World was wonderful- so much to see. Carter is doing great despite the lack of nap yesterday and today. He was in awe of everything. We were a bit apprehensive about the Shamu show given the "accident" a couple of weeks ago but it was fantastic. We are headed to my parents house tomorrow for the duration of our trip.


We are going to China!!!!

So this morning in the chaos of getting ready to leave for Florida I sent my agency an e-mail letting them know we would be gone and to please call us on Brian's cell if our TA arrived. Literally 20 minutes later they called. I heard Brian say "you just made my wife's day" and the tears started rolling down my face. I mouthed to him, "is that CHI?" He nodded and smiled. I could not stop crying and shaking. It has been almost exactly 6 months since I saw the picture of Anna and we are really going to get her. It is surreal. I wanted to get down on my knees, lift my arms up to the Lord and truly try and feel his grace. But we were trying to get everyone to go to the bathroom, bags loaded in the car, last minute this and that, and get out the door for the airport on time. So now in my quiet moment at the end of our long day of travel, I can soak it up and give thanks, because we are going to China to get Anna and bring her home. We are going to China to bring our daughter home, where she belongs, here with her mama, baba, brothers and sister, and so many others that are anxiously waiting to give so much love to this little girl.


No new news

We have already waited 3 weeks for our travel approval (TA) and are hoping it gets here soon. The average time frame is 2-4 weeks so hopefully it will be here this week or next. I'm feeling very anxious about it though because since Chinese New Year there has been a lack of TA's for some reason and people have been waiting 6-8 weeks. We NEED this TA by March 25th in order to travel in April. Otherwise we have to wait until May and that would break my heart. So please keep us in your prayers for our TA to get here SOON!
We are headed to Florida Tues. and are all looking forward to some sun. The kids are so excited they can hardly wait.

Here are a couple of pictures from the past week- completely random but silly.

Callie and Carter enjoying the rare sunny and slightly warmer day. (Check out the static in the hair!)

These were party favors they got that afternoon.

Did you get the memo that it was crazy hair day?



What a better way to start the week then to open your e-mail and find 6 new pictures of your daughter waiting for you. Tears of joy were flowing. It's hard to describe how absolutely precious and wonderful receiving pictures is. We covet them, share them, stare at them and give praise that our little girl is growing and happy.
Thank you Angela for this most wonderful gift.


New Anna measurements

I was hoping for pictures too but I will take anything I can get.

She is 30lbs and 93cm tall. We just did Carter's measurements to compare and he is exactly 30lbs. and less than one inch shorter. They will be eye to eye!

Keep us in your prayers for travel approval to get here soon so we can go get our little girl!!!


This is it...

Here is the happy post I have been waiting to write about. Despite the rough beginning to last week, a lot turned around and we are moving forward. We are waiting on 1 document, the coveted TA (travel approval.) After much discussion with our agency, they have us TENTATIVELY leaving April 8. We must get our TA by March 22 for this to happen but statistically it should be here by then. I have spent over a year reading about other people's China adoption journey's and here we are, about to embark on our own. It truly is completely surreal and until I land in China I still won't believe it.
Between now and then, we are taking the kids to Florida for spring break which will be a wonderful diversion. Plus winter has lasted forever around here and we are all excited about going. I am looking forward to that week with our family and really hope to focus on enjoying my kids and spending a lot of fun time with them. Once we get home, the rush will be on to get everything done- schedules made, bags packed, groceries bought to last weeks, house cleaned, all laundry done..... A lot of this will be down the wire, completed the last 24 hours before we go. But those who know me know I can't possibly leave unless everything is in perfect order, especially regarding my kids.
So, stay tuned. The plan could change at any minute. But right now I'm going to enjoy the feeling knowing I am meeting my daughter NEXT MONTH!!!!!