Monday, December 9, 2013


The long  awaited paper - The LOA!  China said "Yes"  - Time for Happy Dance then back to more paperwork! :))))

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Things I dream of doing with my daughter.....

 Experiences I Want to Have With My Daughter.

The moment she walks through the door and I see her for the first time

Hold her in my arms

Kiss her cheeks

See her first smile

Hear her first giggle

Watch her sleep

Give her her first bath

Brush her hair

Dress her in new clothes

Snuggle with her while feeding her

Put her hair in piggies

Braid her hair

Visit the Princesses with her and take her picture with them

Visit the live Barbie dream house in Sawgrass with her

Oh and Disney princess on Ice

Ok anything girly ........ That I can't do with the boys

Hear the sound of her voice

Hear her sing

Hear her call me mama and know she means "me"

When she initiates a kiss with me

Smell girlie lotions and fragrances

Her first purse in the crook of her arm

Hear her talk to her baby dolls/stuffed animals

Celebrate Chinese culture as part of our history

Tickle her

Tell her I love her

Comfort her when she cries

Easter dresses

Hear her first English word

Celebrate all the firsts. As a family birthdays, Valentines Day, Christmas,etc

When she recognizes her new name

Have a Picnic and Tea party

Observe her try to do and play what her brothers play

See a smitten daddy holding her tight

See her wrestle and giggle with her brothers

Watch her brothers be protective over her

Rock while reading a book together

Bouncing on the Trampoline with her brothers

Sit around the dinner table and see all my kids together

Watch her adapt to our Doggies Bella Rose and Princess Layah (this may take some time!)

Fly half way across the world together

See daddy carrying his girl in a dress

Seeing her play girly tea party and dress up with daddy and the boys

Introduce her to grandparents and cousins for the first time

Watch her enjoy her first wet sloppy kiss from our dog (may take a long long time)

Watch her taste a variety of new foods

Swing together at the playground

Kick the soccer ball together

Kiss her toes

See her on daddy's shoulders

Paint our toenails and fingernails

Hold hands as a family of 5

Go shopping at Target

Tell new friends we have 2 boys and 1 girl

Visiting girly stores and shops for a reason

Play Candy Land, the princess version

See her have a light saber war with her brothers

Teach her about Jesus and read the Princess children's bible stories

Pray  and sing with her as she goes to sleep

Help her dress her dolls and play house

Costume jewelry everywhere

Walk hand in hand with her brothers

Drag her blankie behind her

See her wrestle with daddy

Little dresses and Hair Bows -

Ruffles and more Ruffles

Visit the mall playground

Look back in the car to see a pink covered carseat

Ring around the rosie

Horsey rides on her brothers' backs

Chick fil A with friends

Teaching her Song and Dance Routines "I like my Ice Cream Cone - like my doggie likes his bone"

Trying on new shoes

Stretch on tip toes to reach things

Lots of pictures

Bubble baths with soapy hair do's

Wear aprons and bake in the kitchen

Play peek a boo

Bed Hair with sleepy eyes

Go on a walk with her in the stroller

See her run at the soccer field watching big bros

Pick up dropped snacks under the high chair - Well doggies will do that! 

Twirl around to music

Discover her personality

Blow bubbles

Watch a chic flick together

Read bible stories together

Have a mom/daughter mani/pedi

Wrap a gift together

Mommy/Daughter time while the boys are at school

Watch her whiz down a slide at the playground

Her first splash in the pool

See her blow out her birthday candles for the first time

See her unwrap a gift

See her slurp Asian noodles

Discover what makes her mad!


Hold her in church during the worship songs

See her playing with the kids

Taking her to her first dance lesson

See her ride a tricycle/scooter for the first time

Introduce her as our daughter

Hold her hand

Go to sleep knowing she is HOME

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Third Trimester and Nesting

I feel that this baby girl is coming soon.  My maternal instincts kick in as I prepare her room and get ready to travel.  All of sudden I have these urges to finish everything up, prepare, get ready.............. Nesting!

So, I have been cleaning up the house and organizing.  Gathering things around the house to set aside for the trip. 

I have found some great used books for $.01 - yeah.   Books on Adoption for Brian and I referred by many fellow adoptive parents and Children's books on adoption. 

I always like to read the reviews of books before I buy.  I like to see each persons perspective of the book before I choose a book.  I learn something every time I read these views.  I get another persons perspective on the book whether it be good or bad.  Often times it is an adoptee reviewing the book from their personal perspective.  I want to be sensitive to all of these things and I cant be sensitive if I am not aware.  Thankful for reviews.

We are in the Last Trimester and patiently waiting for the next step. 

Dear God - I thank you and praise you for all your many blessings and for this wonderful life.  I would like to lift up our sweet girl to you.  Please cover her with your love and keep her safe until her family comes to get her.  Continue to prepare our hearts and minds for this journey.  Thank you.  In Jesus Name - Amen.


Saturday, November 9, 2013

Text to Donate Day for Our Girl

Don't forget, Sunday, November 10th (all day long) is the Text to Donate day for Our Girl. 

Text  "Wish"  to 80077 and confirm with "YES" for it to be sent.  Thank you so very much!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Our Girl's Birthday

Yes, today we celebrate Our Girl's 3rd birthday miles apart.  I am so happy that God willing we will not miss another. 

I wonder if her birth mother thinks of her each year around this time? 

When I asked if I could have a birthday cake sent to her - they said that her orphanage did not allow it.  Apparently some do.  They choose to celebrate all the kids birthdays for the month at one time on one day.  This is very understandable with so many kids. 

Dear Lord,

I pray for this precious girl, that you will keep her safe and healthy until we get there.  Please protect the people of China as this storm is about to make it's way to the area.  We know only you know the plan.  Amen.

Traci XOXO

Thursday, November 7, 2013

The many hands it takes for One Adoption

I was reading some of our paper work that we received from our agency further explaining the remaining steps of our adoption process.  I was wore out in thinking about the number of people and steps that it takes to facilitate one single adoption.  No wonder it takes so long and it is so expensive. 

First, there are people that approve and review your application and get you started in the process.  Then you order all the appropriate documents and someone prepares your marriage and birth certificates for the states where you were born and married.  You gather more documents, go to doctors appointments where you involve even more people (doctors, nurses etc.) in the process.  A social worker comes to the home for the homestudy.  All documents are sent away (you might have to have a courier person hand deliver these documents) to have someone certify and authenticate those documents (this is probably a few different people).  Those documents go back to your agency for review.  The reviewed documents go to China to be logged in their system.  Hard telling how many hands the documents have to go through to finally get to the Letter of Acceptance of your matched child (many involved in the match of your child).  Paperwork is sent off so that the child can come to the United States and become a US Citizen.  Then China gives you travel approval and all of the travel arrangements (the agency, in China representatives, travel agency etc. are all involved in this process) are made flights, hotels etc....  Appointments for your newly adopted child are made and I am sure much coordinating from the orphanage as well to make sure that all documentation and appropriate records are made so that the child can be adopted.  And the nannies and foster care family that has cared for the child in the waiting process....

I am sure I am missing many steps and hands that might be involved ..... but I can already see that there are several people involved...........Oh and I will not forget about the family and friends that I have involved and reached out to for support............ 

WOW!  I can really see how many people will have at some point touched the process that we are going through and how many hands it takes to make this miraculous act happen.  I am amazed and in aw. 

Instead of being upset at the length and the expense of the process - I have a much clearer understanding of why the fees might be rather expensive.  And why the wait so long.....Over the course of a year the number of people and acts that it has taken to achieve this process........  Imagine the many adoptions being conducted at this time.  Our agency conducts 30 to 50 per month.  This is a whole lot of papers and processing that I am simply amazed by. 

I just simply wish that the process was more simple and that more children could be adopted and that more would not be afraid of this amazing process that is facilitated by so many. 

I am so thankful for those that have chosen a career that in some way has an impact or lays hands on the adoption process.  Oh what a feeling that must be.

Of course, I still want my daughter home as soon as possible in environment where she receives regular - Love, family, care, food, shelter, heat/air conditioning, clothed, medical needs met as well as education and extracurricular activities.  A childhood with birthdays and holidays to celebrate... family trips.........  and on and on.... But I have a whole New Appreciation Today!  I am so very grateful for the many Hands.  Those that are the Hands and Feet of Jesus!

Please continue to pray over our process.  We are waiting for this Last Paper that will signal us that travel to get our girl will be with in 10-14 weeks. 

Please pray for our girls health.  She seems to have lost a couple of pounds as of the end of October and we were informed that there has been scabies out breaks.  Breaks this mama's Heart. :(

NO one will care for Her and Love her the way we Will.


Praise be to God!


Monday, October 28, 2013

Text to Donate Day to Bring Home Our Girl

The weekend of Nov. 8th we will be celebrating Alivia Grace's 3rd Birthday.  We really thought we would have her in our Arms by now.  But we are still patiently waiting as God prepares us and we know he has a plan.

In honor of Our Girls Birthday we were given the opportunity to raise funds via a "Text to Donate Day" on Sunday, Nov. 10th all day.  Mark your calendar for this event.  We will be trying to raise the Orphanage Fee of $5,000.   This is the Best Birthday Gift we could give this little girl at this time. This money is given to the Orphanage to pay for what our daughter has used in their care up to this point as well as to help provide for those left behind with care, food, shelter, some medical care etc.

Here's how it works...

On OUR Text-to-Donate day (November 10th), tell all your friends and family to text "WISH" to 80077 to donate $5 to Bring Home Our Girl (see example below). The more people you tell and share this with the more we can raise.  If a little over 300 people donate $15 (Text "Wish" 3 times - follow the rules and process below three times), We would meet our Goal.  What a Blessing!
Technical Information....
            • Mobile donors will have a $5 charge from mGive, the provider of the service on their phone bill.
            • A mobile donation will NOT be processed if the mobile user does not confirm "YES" to the agreed $5 charge. A majority of the donors do not do this.
            If a mobile user has block extra usage charges, the text response will return as "FAIL". Many parents block their kids phones to stop unwanted charges.
            • A maximum of 5 mobile donations can be made per month.
            Pay-as-you-go mobile phones and international phones will not work on the system.
            • Donation period runs from 12am (MST) to 11:59pm (MST). 24 hours are required for the donation system to calculate the totals.
            • Disclaimer:   Charges will appear on your wireless bill, or be deducted from your prepaid balance. All purchases must be authorized by account holder. Must be 18 years of age or have parental permission to participate. Message and Data Rates May Apply. Text STOP to 80077 to STOP. Text HELP to 80077 for HELP.  Full Terms: Privacy Policy
This is a Sample - Make sure you follow up with "Yes" to confirm
Thank you very much in advance.  You do not know how much this means to us and to our Girl.
Traci, Brian, Brennan and Carson


Thursday, October 24, 2013


Yippy - Big Accomplishment -



On to the Next Thing.......

We are to download our next assignment this evening........... (small celebration and moving on)

Thank you so much for all the prayers.... We greatly appreciate it!


Thursday, October 10, 2013

Bring Home Our Girl

Good news!  Our Dossier is complete and will be off to China to become Logged in.  Another big step about complete - Yeah - Seeing light......

On another note:

We are so excited that we have been given the opportunity to raise funds for our girl through Wish Upon a Hero.  Our goal is to raise funds specifically for her orphanage fee.  The orphanage fee is seperate from the adoption agency and travel expences as it is $5000 that goes towards her care in orphanage/foster care and for those left behind to continue running facilities, to provide food and shelter, clothing etc. as well as what she has used in the almost three years she has been in their care.

We need your help.  We need 200 likes on our adoption fan page to be eligible for this fundraising opportunity through "Wish Upon A Hero" text to wish program. Please help us gain "Likes".

Giving us a "like" would be great and very helpful.

Like the page  Bring Home Our Girl to help us get to our goal of 200 likes. Here is the link:

We thank you so very much.

On another note -----
I am so proud of my husband:

Earlier this week Brian was in a business meeting getting to know colleagues.  Someone asked Brian how many children he had and he replied two boys and their ages and we are adopting our little girl from China.  The colleague replied wow, do you know the statistics about adoption.  You should read XYZ book and learn about those statistics.  Brian replied to the gentleman that his father (Brian's Father) was adopted as an eight year old boy and if someone did not step up and show him love and a family - I might not be here today.  The gentleman colleague stumbled to find words and continuely apologized to Brian for what he said.  Just goes to show you how unknowledgeable people are about adoption and they only want to hear or see the bad in it.  Really??

The statements and reaction that we get about our adoption process are all different from very supportive to why China?  With which we reply there are children all over the world that need adopting.  This was God's calling for us.  Or the why not just have one of your own or why now? With which I reply there is no good or perfect time to adopt or have a child and we can not wait till we are perfect parents with a perfect life ---  it would never ever happen if that was the case.  We are to be obedient to God's calling even when it might not be convenient for us. This is a difficult concept for many who do not understand the biblical teachings.  As it comes from sacrifice to do for the good of God and Not just what's good for Yourself. 

Many can not fathom How much I would fight for a child that is very much mine - that I have never met though or know.  It is something I can not explain........

Please continue to pray over this process.

We thank you so very much -

Love and Hugs

Monday, September 23, 2013


I800a approval came Saturday.  Yeah!  Mailed the Last 2 documents off  to be certified and authenticated this week. Progress!!  We are moving along again!:))

Saturday, September 14, 2013

It's Been Awhile............

I know......  It has been awhile since my last update post.  Like they say - "no news is good news".  I keep thinking I will post when the 800a paper comes and we are moving again through the process.  However that has taken much longer than I expected. 

Finally getting a bit impatient I contacted our adoption agency to make sure everything was OK with this 800a document.  She reassured me that the process was taking longer now and that I was welcome to call the immigration office to find out the status. 

So that I did!  I called - and was put through right away to a lady who was very friendly and familiar with the process.  She let me know that they had just recently become very busy and  were running a little behind. The process has been taking less than 60 days and now was running between 60 and 75 days. She was so kind to reassure us that it would not be much longer and that once we get through this process that the items we had to complete from here on out would move much more quickly.  Her last note was to call her back on Monday or Tuesday and she would have an update for me.  Praise God!

In this lul/wait time - I have filled my time well with Communities in Motion Classes starting and kicking off a new season of classes(the dance business in Ohio that I oversee).   So much fun and so exciting.  I am always amazed at the paths God takes me through and the people that he puts in my life. 

The boys started school and soccer so we have kept very busy with that as well.  I really enjoy watching the boys play soccer. 

It has been almost like the adoption process has been put on a backburner through this longest of paper work processes. 

We will wait and see what this next week brings! :)  All in God's timing!

Join Our New Facebook page - Bring Home Our Girl - Follow our Journey.  I have heard from others that it is sometimes difficult to blog with the internet connections in China - but facebook works well. 

Thank you so very much for your continued words of support and prayers.  We greatly appreciate it so much.  We love it when loving friends ask about our girl!  Love, Traci XO

Monday, August 12, 2013

Reality strikes - Video link

I received some very good advice yesterday.  I am so glad.  I tend to try and be so positive yet adoption can bring much heartache and I need to remember not to get my hopes up.

This difficult reminder that I know but somehow forget is that our little girl is coming from rural China. She may or may not be getting the packages I send, she gets 3 small meals per day, she may or may not sleep in a bed, she may or may not know love, ............Back to the packages - Even if she does receive the packages they may never put the clothes on her or let her play with the toys.  We just don't know as many families have adopted and each have had different experiences.

Again - it is wise to Realize (as difficult as it is) that this is a difficult place.  I don't think any of us can even begin to comprehend.

This video tells the truth of the mother that must give up her child and the gift of adoption.  This is the reality:

I will keep my eyes focused on God who has brought us to this place of adoption.  I will not forget the difficult place she came from.  I will keep the faith and hope for her future.  God goes before us ....... I see this in the people that I come into contact with as we prepare for this journey.  Thankful.

I know in my heart that no matter what this precious girl has gone through - we can not take that away - her history will be her history and with that comes great possibilities for a great future.  We can give her a forever home, a loving stable home, education, medical care and so much more.


Sunday, August 11, 2013

All in His Plan

He reveals himself more and more in this process.

Today in the mail Brennan received a free supplemental learning package from Highlights magazine. We opened the package and much to our jaw dropping disbelief we found this:

What a Surprise!

Yes,  the Guide to China! What timing!  It came with all kinds of activities - world maps, play passports etc...  I was in awe.  What a great tool for the boys to enjoy before we travel.

Just had to share.:)

Also - today received an email from our adoption agency stating that our girl had the TB skin test as a proactive measure.  They do this ahead of time to try and catch medical conditions so they can be treated prior to our arrival.  Since she is over the age of 2 the medical checks to leave the country involve more.  She will have to have a blood draw add to all the other screenings.  Good news as -   ---initial screening was negative.  Praise God!

We are counting down the last few steps:
  • Finish last documents for Dossier
  • Agency review and translate Dossier
  • Mail Dossier to China and get Logged in
  • LOA Approval of Our Girl
  • 800 - Immigration for our girl
  • Article 5
  • Travel Approval -  to China in 3 weeks (I am guessing by end of year)
Please continue to pray over these last steps specifically:

  • That if it is in God's will he will continue to provide us with a smooth and timely process
  • That we will continue to embrace each of these last steps and learn from each and every experience
  • That our girl is being well cared for and staying healthy
  • That our girl is being prepared for our arrival and calm will come over her when she meets us (this is a very difficult one - need extra prayers in this area - not sure who will be crying more - me crying of joy, happiness and amazement or her crying in fear as she leaves everything she knows to be with her forever family - such tug of emotions for all of us)  Please ask God to comfort us and give us peace in this time
  • That God will continue to provide for this process.

We are extremely grateful for this journey and very grateful for everyone's loving support and kind words.  We could not do this without all of you.  Thank you. 

Love - Traci xoxox

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Blessings found along the way

Yes, summer flew right by.  I can't believe the boys will be back to school in less than 2 weeks.

We have really had an awesome summer.  I will have to say I was very nervous about having them home all summer.  How would things go?  I knew we could not spend any money on camps - so this was our option.

I have come to the conclusion that this adoption has been super beneficial for us in so many ways.  God is working out his plan to grow and shape us in so many ways:

1.  The boys being home for the summer was of great benefit as the brothers became very close and really learned to get along as well as respect each other.  They are truly best buds and show love for one another.

2.  The boys learned to cook, clean, take care of plants, help out with the dogs, juicing, eating healthy, a little gymnastics here and there,..........  I know it is kinda of funny to hear.  Sounds like I am domesticating them - but truly they are learning about everyday life responsibilities this summer.  Reading and school enrichment activities were included as well but I have seen a huge difference in their "life skills"the most.

3.  Brennan learned to help mow the yard.  He was very excited to earn his wage of $4 (he set the wage).  Carson did not get off Scott free.  He helped pick up sticks and with weeding a bit.  He was so proud that he pulled 20 weeds.  Great job Guys!

4.  Couponing - I was never huge on coupons.  I enjoyed finding a good sale but I never really worked at coupons.  I am forever grateful for friends encouragement to keep me going and trying this Art!  It is an Art and a blessing!

5.  Attending Church as a family - for the first time ever in 8 years we have been attending church together as a family.  Brian would go here and there but not as regular until the adoption process.  Now we all Go - Miracle!

6.  Budgetting - I have to tell you we are trying our very hardest to make this work financially - but it is not easy.  Fund raising is very difficult and options and support are becoming slim.  I am staying very positive and persistent that God will provide. We are budgeting like crazy - happily cutting out many things that we would not otherwise.  Blessing in Disguise!

7.  Even the most frustrating things such as all of the paperwork and running around were all blessings in disguise.  I can see us growing everyday in this process.

8.  More time at home means more Board Games - yes, the boys are obsessed with Monopoly.  They have learned to make deals on properties - manage money etc....  Once again lots of life lessons.  Their love managing and developing their own cities in Megapolis as well.  I laugh when I hear them state that they need to go check a contract or they need to collect taxes.

9.  Forts and generally house disarray.  I have learned to be OK with a little mess day to day.  As my husband says - kids thrive in mess as it makes them comfortable and creative.  Creative yes I will agree with  - creating forts and all kinds of mazes and obstacle courses with blocks and dominos.  This has been work for me though - another one of God's plans as I tend to like everything cleaned up but realize I would take away from their "work of creativity"  if I was constantly frustrated with the "creative messes".  Soon enough they will back to school and things shall be tidy again.  Soon enough they will be grown and out of the house and I will probably be looking for a "mess" to enjoy- Ug

10.  I enjoy/like to have control - be proactive on things.  Wow!  this situation has taught me that no matter how fast I prepare the paperwork, no matter how fast i send off papers - this is all very helpful of course but ulimately there are things I can not control such as - the agencies preparation of papers, the governments preparation of papers, China's preparation of documents etc....  So much of it is out of our control and we give this all to God and know that it will work in his timing.  This has been such and comfort in these times.

11.  We submitted to God when he called us to adopt - even when we did not know financially how it would all work.  There were many fears but we moved forward resting in the comfort of God's love that this would all work out.  Trusting in Gods plan and not our own - Blessing!

12.  I have had to become very strong to fight for what I believe in.  That orphans are important to us and they deserve a life, a forever home and loving family.   This was difficult - but it was part of God's plan to make me stronger in what I /we believe in and to be a Voice for the least of these.

I could go on and on about the many Blessings of this Adoption process.  I am so amazed already about God's work in all of this.  I can't wait to see what is to come as we Grow through next and last bit of challenges.

Thank you again for all of the prayers.

Love -
Traci xoxo

Monday, August 5, 2013

July 20th - Good News - I797 received.  This means that homeland security has received our paperwork to begin the immigration and fingerprinting process.  Just another step in the process to check off.  Yeah

Today is my younger sister Shawnda's birthday as well!  Two great things!

We are on our to visit my mom for the week.  This will be very nice to spend some family time and have a change of scenery.

I have really enjoyed having the boys home this summer.  Everything has worked out well.

We have worked on summer workbooks, lots of reading (mostly obsessed with the Magic Tree House Series), audio books in the car (again Magic Tree House mostly), attended vacation bible school, grew lots of plants (tomato, pepper and various flowers), lots of swimming, a little gymnastics and fitness, baseball throwing and catching, Monopoly, the game of Life and most recently the Megapolis game.  Yes, they are learning to build cities, manage them, collect taxes etc. It is really something else.

My favorite deals for the summer were - $1 movies at the local theatre and Free weekly bowling.

Another big hit was a trip to the Science Museum.  Our local Science Museum was recently remodeled and now includes a larger aquarium section that is very nice.  That was a great day!

Last but not least we have worked on nutrition.  Lots of smoothies and juicing over the summer.  I can say both of the boys do not mind wheatgrass.

Moving right along

We are moving right along in the adoption process.  Today we completed our fingerprints to receive I800a immigration approval.  1800a approval document is the last paper that we need to complete our Dossier for China.  Hip Hip Hooray.

We are getting down to the last final steps:

i800a approval - 1-3 weeks
Certify and Authenticate the last few docs - 2 weeks
Review and Translate Dossier by Adoption Agency - Not sure how long this will take.
LID - Dossier Logged in with China
LOA - Final Approval of our Girl
i800 - Immigration process of the child we wish to adopt
Article 5 - Yes, the child is able to immigrate to the US
Travel Approval by China - Yes, we can come get her

Hard telling how long this could all take.  I am sure we will know more once we are logged in with China.

Very Excited!

Please continue to pray over this process.  We truly feel that God is on our side in this process.  When we walked into the immigration office today 10 days before our actual fingerprint appoint and requested that we go early - we were immediately accommodated.  The process was very speedy.  We were very leary about going early but knew we had to try as 10 days makes all the difference.  Praise God!

We will be planning a yard sale sometime in September to help raise funds for this adoption.  If you have items that you would like to Donate, please let us know.  We greatly appreciate it.

Traci xoxox

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

July Update

I know - It has been sometime sense my last blog!  There just has not been much excitement! 

We had a fabulous 4th with great friends!  The boys and I are having a great summer staying busy at home with projects.  Brennan got a microscope and telescope as well as a few fun science kits that we have been working on.  Carson learned to ride a two wheel bike!  Lots and lots of swimming and staying cool in the pool of course.  I can't believe how fast this summer is going by.  I just want it to slow down. 

Well, today much to our delight and surprise, we received an update on our sweet girl.  They state that Our sponsorship of her has given her the ability to have better care and progress much better.  Her foster grandma loves to dress her up and take her out to show her off.  They say she is very pretty and very smart.  (Of course, I think so! I am her mother:) After her foster grandma mops the floor she helps out by bringing the trash can over.  When her foster grandma starts cooking dinner she will help out by getting out utensils and chop sticks.  She is well potty trained and gets her foster grandma up in the night when she needs to use the bathroom by telling her “pee-pee”!  I love seeing this picture of her observing her toys.  Thank heavens she is being allowed to enjoy and observe her toys.  She has a passion for learning!  Her hair is growing a bit too!  She is still just 28 pounds but she has grown an inch.  She is 35 inches tall now.  She is so precious!  We cant wait to love on her and play with her and make her a part of our family!  Thanks so very much for all of the prayers!  They are working in the evidence of her progress!.

We got a picture - but for whatever reason I cant get it to work on here.  Sorry!

We are moving forward in the process as well!  Today our I 800a immigration was sent off.  Yeah - for progress.  We have finalized our home study - Hooray for that as well. 

Ok - I got the picture to work.  Had to copy and paste and snap a picture with my phone but I got it. 

Please continue to pray as we go through this process:
That Alivia Grace will continue to progress and remain healthy.
That she will know that she has a family waiting and excited to welcome her.
For strength and patience as we continue to wait out this process.
We pray for her birth mother that she knows that her daughter will be well loved and cared for.
We pray for her foster family as they care for her in this time.
That God will provide the funds needed to complete this process.

Thank you so very much!
Love - xoxo

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Summer Fun Has Begun.....

Despite our efforts to have a Tennis Fundraiser event, the weather just did not cooperate at all.  So we will reschedule for a later date when the weather is a bit more stable.  The courts quickly flood with a down poor. 

Anyway ----

We kicked off summer with a fishing trip with our good friends on their boat.  They were so kind to invite us out - However,  I am very prone to motion sickness and the waves were not as low as we had hoped.  Needless to say the ride out was great, but once the we stopped and the boat started rocking forget it.  Done - Over!  Despite my efforts to take motion sickness medication, wear motion sickness wrist bands and chew ginger gum all at the same time - still no luck.  I probably needed to take the motion sickness medicine an hour before.  Anyway - they quickly got me back to shore and I spent the next couple of hours recovering and watching the boats go in and out of the marina.  I was very happy to be on land and just watch! :)

Anyway - Everyone else has a great time.  They caught several snappers and some mahi.  We had a great dinner that evening!

Let's just say Brian and the boys went fishing alone with our friend yesterday and I used the day to be kidless and have some me time.  They were successful fisherman once again and brought home several snapper for dinner.  I made a new marinade of garlic and ginger, fresh dill, olive oil, aminos by Braggs, blackened redfish seasoning and some lemon juice. Soak the fish in this, so yummy!

The boys and I are at home for the summer and we are finding our routine. In the morning the boys complete their summer study (consisting of reading, summer workbook, bible and an optional subject) , help out with chores and then fun activities. I have signed us up for the Free Bowling for the summer and the $1 summer movie club at the local movie theatre.  Today we saw Ice Age.  Even though we have seen some of these movies, it is always fun to go to the theatre.

Adoption News:

Our Homestudy is complete!  This is huge.  Now to complete immigration and then complete the dossier to send off to China. 

Earlier this week we sent out a  second care package to Alivia Grace.  This consisted of a little dress, sandels, toys for her doll that we sent in the first package, more pictures and a lovey blanket.  We hope this brings a smile to her precious little face and that she will come to recognize us through the pictures. 

Nothing else to report!

Traci xoxox



Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Food for thought and Summer

We just tried the Gluten Free Tyson Chicken Nuggets and they were pretty good (for a chicken nugget).  Not bland like other brands.  I am not a big fan of Tyson but I thought what the heck lets try them.  I like the very short ingredients list and I could pronounce all the ingredients which is good.  The one down or two down sides are everything gluten free seems to contain corn as the filler.  Next is of course any packaged product contains higher amounts of sodium.  Anyway over all - when this busy mom needs to through an allergy friendly dinner on the table quickly - I give this option a B plus.  We added some steamed brocolli and some rice pasta with marinara and WaaaLaa - dinnner served! :)

Normally for dessert I will cut up fruit and add a bit of lite whip topping for fun or I will bake a batch of gluten free cookies or brownies.  I definately do not prepare a special dessert every night but if the dinner prep has been easy then I will go the extra mile to prepare something fun for dessert.  Anyway, tonight I tried a new recipe - Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies (Peanut Butter, Sugar -I used granule stevia instead to keep the glycemic index low, baking soda and egg) - This is the easiest cookie recipe ever.  Pretty Yummy as well! :)  They are a bit soft and more crumbly than a regular cookie but non the less easy and taste good.  I am thinking of adding some small choco chips next time - or subbing with Sunflower butter or almond butter instead of peanut butter.  Oh Fun!

All of this thinking about food has led me to start planning our fun summer meals.  With the boys out of school soon and us being home all summer I envision lots of meals outside picnic style on a big blanket.  The boys will be attending Mommy Camp - Yes - they are stuck with me all summer long.  I plan to keep up with a summer curriculum of reading, writing, math and bible study.  Physical Education is more my speciality so we will work on swimming skills, gymnastics, sports  conditioning, golf, tennis, baseball, soccer, riding bikes, taking walks etc....(shhh and maybe even a little bit of dance)  There will be plenty of time for Chillaxin as Brennan calls it. 

We goto the library weekly to check out books, movies and now audio books.  I love how the boys can not wait to get in the car to hear the next bit of the story we are listening to.  I love that they listen so intently to all the details.  I heard The Candymakers is very fun with lots of descriptive details about candy - I think every child's delight!

Oh, gardening will also be a part of our summer.  The boys take after their Grandma Wallin's love of gardening.  They collect all of the empty egg cartons to plant their starter seeds.  Brennan gets so excited to water them after school everyday.  I am not sure what they have planted, but I guess we will find out soon.  The suprise will be fun!

I have big hopes for this summer, house projects (mostly organizing) and finishing up the details to get our girl home.  We are preparing for the sweet Princess's arrival all of the time.  We talk about her all the time, read books about having a sister and about adoption (Carson is not sure about becoming a big brother but after reading several books he seems much more confident).  I would like for the boys to Journal about their thoughts about adding a sister to our family and what that might look like (pictures too!).    Lots of mental preparation going on here. 

Happy Summer Everyone - Enjoy!

Well, time to sign off for today!
Traci xoxo

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Tennis Event

Do you like to play tennis?  Come join us in this fun event at Breakers West to Bring Home Our Girl.

Love Is An Action

Much of the paperwork is done (at least at this point).  Just a lot of waiting for this and that.  In the mean time we need to start gathering pictures to add to our dossier, begin parent training classes and begin our Homestudy.

In one of the first parent training classes it is discussed how love is an action not a feeling.  There may not be warm fuzzy feelings initially and therefore love will be an action.  This is not difficult for me.  I can love the unloved.  But I can see how this could be hard for many.  Look at failed marriages - broken families if love is not an action and The warm fuzzy feeling is not there and regular contact is not worked on love is lost.  Hence love is work and if we only choose to love those we have feelings for then we fail to love so many.

This is much like God's love and sacrifice for us.  Love was an Action - he did not just tell us - he showed us.

As parents this is easy to understand as our children often misbehave or become defiant going through various stages of life but showing that child love through those times will help them to carry through and grow up to be loving compassionate people.  Same will go true for the adopted child coming from a difficult place - love will become an action.  Showing love will be helping the child overcome difficult times through understanding and teaching.

I look forward to loving.  This is not a difficult task for me but i know for some can be.  But when you make love an action and make an effort to show them love what a difference - but not easy.

I have been shown this.  Regardless, that I am a grown adult my mother still makes an effort to call all of her children on the phone to catch up to say "hello" or "how are you?".  This is an act of showing love.  It is easy to forget about loved ones and not have time - however when we make the effort - oh what a difference.

Make Love An Action .....

xoxox Traci

Monday, May 20, 2013


See the free preview of the Stuck Documentary

Our most Precious are Stuck.

Catch Up

Play catch up!  It has been awhile since my last post................

The last few weeks have been a blur.  Paperwork processing has slowed down only due to where we are at in the process.  In between - is where we are at.  Almost done completing homestudy.  Almost done collecting papers/documents for the dossier.  I can see the light at the end of the tunnel of this phase.  In the beginning, I was very busy collecting documents, typing and running here and there to gather items.  Now - I am in between.  So we started setting up Alivia Grace's room a bit amongst other things in this "in between" part of the process.

Here is a few pictures of what we have been up to:

The boys have been jumping on the trampoline.  Thank you Easter Bunny!

Carson's Birthday Party - My sister from Indianapolis came to visit with her two boys for a week.  We had a great time visiting with them.  I think this picture captures the excitement well.  Let's just say that Aunt Diane spoils them just a bit!:)

Let's just say we made a really big mess this birthday.  The kids enjoyed water balloons, party poppers and confetti shooters!  I am so glad that my sister Shawnda was in town with her two boys to celebrate with us.

Mother's Day!  I had a great and very blessed Mother's Day.  First, I attended a mother's day tea that the Kindergarten class put on.  So cute!  Carson made me a purse and book all in one! So handy!  Brennan showered me with a love letter he had made at school with Free Car Wash and many other chores that he would help out with.  We enjoyed lunch with my parents and my sister Diane to top it off.  What a great day!  I can only begin to imagine what next year will be like having our sweet girl with us to enjoy all of these things as well.

Brennan's end of the year trip to Animal Kingdom.  I think they had a Great time!  Brennan enjoyed his first Water Raft Ride! :)

Through this time I have been planning fundraising projects.  Our first fundraiser will be a tennis clinic and round robin event (more info to come next post).  I am so very grateful and thankful to my dear friend Gabby and my sister Diane who helped me to organize this.  This whole process would not be possible without the help of others.  I am so grateful for who God has placed in my life!

As you might recall from a previous post we were considering a second child as well.  During this "in between time"  I had identified a possible second child and as we worked further through the process researching her medical needs etc...  it became very clear that we would not be able to meet her needs.  This was somewhat of a loss as I knew we were in the beginning stages and did not know all of the details yet however i felt myself beginning to fall.   I was so very hopeful that she would be ok.

We will move forward with our one sweet little princess Miss Alivia Grace and we will consider a second at another time.  I really want her to have a sister and from her same country - But first we must meet the needs of Alivia and really define her needs.  We will need to recreate the attachment process for her as many babies/toddlers who are in group settings do not get those needs met.  This means even though she will almost be 3 (technically she is much younger as for every 3 months in group setting a child would fall behind one month) at the time that we get her we will intitially need to treat her like an infant continue holding, rocking, cuddling, bottle feeding and not worrying about potty training.  She most likely could be resistent to this and will take time.  Why?  might you ask well every child needs to go through this process to build trust - trust that their needs will be met and that they will be cared for.  This also instills bonding and closeness.  I look forward to gently shaping this and spending the quality time with her bonding.  I am fully aware that this could take a long time to develop but I look forward to the journey.

I completed the parent training courses - which I find very interesting.  This informs us as adoptive parents how are parenting might look different from our biological children as well as the cultural background that our child will come from.  This is great preparation for this process.  Between the social workers information and the parenting classes we feel that we have "a guide"  for this child that we did not have with our biological children.

Well, I must sign off for now!

xoxox Traci

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Updates on Our Girl

Great News!  We Begin our Homestudy this weekend and We just received some new updates this week!  Yeah!

The new updates state that she is talking more, eats well, is very smart and is being potty trained and just needs to be reminded to goto the bathroom.  I am not getting my hopes as I know that coming here will be a big change and could completely through the potty training thing Off.

Sweet Alivia Grace<<<<<<

This picture was taken Jan. 2013.

This picture was taken April 2013.  She is getting Big! :)
She is 2years 5 months,  28 pounds (I am not sure with or with out all of the bundles of clothes:) and 33 inches tall. Small/to not even registering on the US charts and Average build for the Asian Charts for her age. 
She is progressing well it seems and this is wonderful for this environment as typically children regress one month for every 3 months institutionalized. 
The prayers are working. :)
Please continue to pray for:
  • her health, safety and developmental progress
  • that she knows that she has a loving family coming to get her
  • for our patience as we wait out this process
  • that we will have the confindence that all will work out in God's timing
  • that God will keep us calm and cover us with his love as we wait
  • that our fundraising opportunities will go well to get our girl home
Thank you very very much in advance for covering us with your prayers through this time.  They truly are being felt and you do not know how much it means.
So, How am I really doing?  Very well - (most of the time).  I am learning to Wise Up and let God take control. 
Emotionally - I am holding together very well - well until the carpet guy delivered the wrong color of carpet for Alivia Grace's room.  Ug - it was Brown not what I had imagined for a little girls room.   I was not thinking very Godly at the time when i saw the carpet (should have been thinking Oh, well I will just put a cute pink or lavender rug down and it will look adorable) but know my rotten side came out and I wanted a certain look for this little girls room Ug.  I was very calm and stated that this was not exactly what I had planned and they were very understanding.  Light Beige carpet would look very nice with Pink and Purple!  Well they did let me return the brown carpet and brought back the light beige carpet - thank heavens.  Our landlord was super accomodating thank heavens.  Anyway after the carpet guys left I had my first good cry in a really long time.  Accumulation of stress and leave it to the wrong color of carpet to open the flood gates - ug!
xoxo Traci

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Anything Asian

In our attempts to be closer to our daughter somehow I believe we are inundating ourselves with Asian experiences.

First,  we visited the Asian Fusion Buffet.  We read the fortunes and tried to learn the Chinese inside each Fortune.  I even questioned the waitress about the correct pronunciation of various words.  One of the fortunes mentioned the pomelo fruit and I had not a clue as to what that was so the waitress gladly brought one to the table for us to see.  It has the exterior of a melon but is supposedly like a giant grapefruit.  None the less, we got our fill of food.  The boys fav of course was the chocolate fountain that they dipped strawberries into.

Next, since Carson has been studying Japanese culture at school he was very interested in taking a trip to the Morikami Japanese Museum and Park for his birthday outing.  Brian only has this Sunday off this month so this would be the time to celebrate his birthday as a family.  He will have a party early in May with his Cousins when they come to visit.

Anyway, back to the Japanese park and museum.  This was a wonderful experience.  First, we walked through the beautiful park and gardens.  We saw various Bonsi trees and Japanese gardens.  Next, the boys enjoyed the children's section where they could touch and feel everything, sit in the bullet train, pretend to be at the train station in Tokyo, sit in a Japanese classroom, experienc a Japanese Kitchen, Bath and Bedroom ..........They also enjoyed the very large fish in the pond.  Carson new a lot about the pottery, artwork, blossom trees and waterwheels.  He definately knew that carp was a main fish there as well.  Lastly, we celebrated with some traditional Japanese food.  I am so grateful that my boys love culture and a a variety of food.  I have to say they ate everything from Miso Soup to edamame, stir fry beef and veggies, sushi, pot stickers, egg rolls , fried tofu etc.,..  Brennan and I skipped a few things due to allergies but otherwise everything was very yummy and Carson ate it ALL!  Lol

Last night I decided that we probably had better attemp to try to learn some Manderian as Yin Yan (Alivia Grace) will be almost 3 by the time we get her.  For the first 3 years she will have only known Manderian so it would be in our best interest to learn some to be helpful initially in communicating with her.  I downloaded a few Free apps to my phone last night and the boys and I had a great time mimicking the phrases.  There favorite of course was "Where is the toilet??"  Of course, this phrase got repeated ALOT.  Lol.  I am sure we will have a great time learning this new language. 

Looks Like we are in the Train station in Tokyo!

Bullet Ride
Happy Birthday to Me at Morikami! I think that is the biggest drumstick I have ever seen! 

We have to gather lots of Couple and Family Picts for the adoption so fire away! 

What a fun day! 

Traci, Brian, Brennan and Carson - xoxoxo

Thursday, April 11, 2013

What's Next? and Care Package

What have we been up to?

Well, we have now finished our Police Clearances, Physicals, ordered passports and a few other forms that will be a part of our Dossier.  We are getting very close to collecting all of the paperwork for this Dossier which will then have to be certified and authenticated. Next, we will begin the Homestudy portion where we will be visited by a social worker twice.  To prepare for this we each has to write a 6-8 page bio about ourselves. 

The Homestudy and other Dossier docs will form a package of papers to be Certified and Authenticated and then we will have the Dossier to send to China.

During the mailing off of items to different Secretary of States and Chinese Embassy we will be working on our parent training classes and decorating the bedroom for Alivia Grace.  There is always something to be done!

Next big project after Dossier - will be the 1800 which will be formed and possibly take 2-3 months.  We should know more about travel around this time.
I know God is seeing us through this
I am enjoying every bit of this process and know that everything is done for a reason
I am confident that God hears our prayers and that he is keeping Alivia Grace safe

Continued Prayers please - we definately feel them!  They are keeping us strong and confident through this process.

The Fun Part!

Oh the joy of finding out that we can send our sweet girl a care package.  They (adoption agency) suggest we send a disposable camera, small items such as a small doll, clothes, photo album of our family with a variety of family picts and chocolates for the foster mother and grandmother.

First Care Package:

Lastly, our big debate Now - Yes, considering getting a second child at the same time.  We have the opportunity to get a second child at the same time on our same paperwork and fees with minimal additional fees (huge savings) - but we are not sure that we will be matched in time.  We would love for Alivia Grace to have sister from her same heritage and without the fees of traveling twice would be a blessing.  There is such a long waiting list and we were so lucky to be matched with Alivia Grace so quickly as she was on the Waiting child list - the likelyhood of that happening again is not Great - But we know God is good and if it is meant to be - it will!

Please pray that if it is in God's will for us - that we be matched with a second little girl. 

We thank you and appreciate you Greatly!

Much Love -  The Wallin's xoxox