Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Personalized Art for the Nursery

Posted by Angie at 7:00 AM 1 comments
Now that all our paperwork is officially in, I have moved into more enjoyable items on my task list...like the nursery!  (and celebrating Levi's 1 month birthday today...Happy Birthday little man!)

One of my dear friends from work is from China (and many members of her family live in Taiwan).  She's quite artistic, so we asked her if she would be willing draw a few pieces for the nursery.  This is what she gave us:

Our little "Year of the Dragon" baby
We fly in and complete the adoption in Taipei.  Kaohsiung is where Levi was born.
Taipei 101, which I chatted about here
Each one measures 12 x 12 and we LOVE them.  Now I just have to figure out the perfect place to hang them in the nursery.  How about y'all?  Working on your nurseries yet???

Much love,
Blessed Mama

Nursery posts so far:  Wall art inspiration from pinterest, tree art I made, and some early thoughts on possibilities

Monday, May 28, 2012

Our First Skype Date

Posted by Angie at 7:30 AM 1 comments

Dear Levi,

On the morning of your 3 week birthday, May 21, 2012 (your time, it was still the 20th for us), we spoke with you for the first time.  One of your amazing caretakers, Ashleigh, set up skype and let us talk to you for a full 29 minutes.  And we loved EVERY minute of it!  You were wide awake, squirmed all around, and we were surprised you never cried.  You also loved to look at us on the computer screen--which was fine with us, because we loved looking at you too!  Ashleigh said you had hiccups.  We talked about all sorts of things, like how fast you were growing, what types of things you might need, and, of course, our trip to finally meet you in person!  Ashleigh asked us how old you would be at Christmas and we realized that you would be about 8 months old.  Wow!  An 8 month old baby crawling around all our Christmas decorations!  What a wonderful thing to think about.  Your dad and I were a little nervous before we skyped, but as soon as we saw your face, all those nerves just melted away.  You aren't smiling just yet, but are moving your little face around in all sorts of funny expressions.  We think you are going to be making some pretty great faces soon.  Ashleigh said your face was so soft.  We thought your hair was pretty long for a baby your age, but Ashleigh said that for Taiwanese babies, that wasn't a lot of hair.  Either way, you have more hair than daddy right now (who just shaved his head)!  We love you so much Levi and can't wait until we are holding you in our arms.  Mommy and daddy are praying for you, little one, and you are always on our minds.

Love,
Mom and Dad

P.S.  We won a Liebster award from the blog "Becoming the Miller Family!"  They are adopting from Uganda.  Thanks Michelle!!

Friday, May 18, 2012

On Faith and Uncertainty

Posted by Angie at 7:00 AM 3 comments
On Wednesday May 16, His Hands officially submitted our paperwork to court.

For months we completed pages and pages of forms.  We drove to countless offices for signatures, courthouses for stamps, government buildings for seals.  All those hours, those frustrations, those tears, all for this moment.

Some days I thought this would never happen.  International adoption laws are changing in Taiwan and how those changes will affect adoptions is uncertain.  Rumors flew and continue to fly through the wavelengths of the internet and so much is yet to be decided.  One such bit of information we heard was that the new laws will require adoptive parents to be over the age of 30.  My husband and I are not.  Is this true?  I am not entirely sure.  It is possible.  Only time will tell.  And so, we prayed, we worried, and we increasingly gave this adoption, and our future as parents to a Taiwanese child, over to God.  The new laws, we heard, would take affect this summer.  We began to prepare our hearts for the possibility that we would need a new adoption plan.  We might be starting completely over. 

And then we received a referral for a beautiful baby boy.  We quickly gathered up the remainder of our paperwork, signed the contracts, and mailed them off.  His Hands received them, reviewed them, and submitted them to the Taiwanese government.  Our case is now officially in court, waiting for it's first hearing.  Which means that our case will fall under the jurisdiction of the current laws.  We will be judged not by the incoming uncertainties, whenever they will begin.  I write in complete and total awe of how this has fallen together. 

Your love, O LORD, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies.
Psalm 36:5

I also write knowing that many families are still in this world of uncertainty.  International adoption laws, in many countries, change quickly and with little warning.  Many families do have to start completely over on new journeys of adoption.  I pray for you and with you.  With this referral, I have not forgotten.  All I know, is that after all the waiting, all the tears, hopefully you will get a video like this one day. 


And you will know, as I now know, it is ALL worth it.

Much love,
Blessed Mama

P.S. I will be out of town all next week without blogging access.  Be back in a week!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

(almost) Wordless Wednesday

Posted by Angie at 8:49 AM 4 comments
What Levi sent me on Sunday.
Dear readers,

Thank you all for the support and love you have shared with us this past year of waiting...and the countless comments and encouraging words you have left these past few days.  It means SO much to have you all share in our excitement, when so many of you are waiting and aching for a child of your own.  We appreciate it, and appreciate you, blog readers.  Many thanks.

Much love,
Blessed Mama

P.S.  Many of you keep asking when we will be traveling.  We hope to leave in the next 4-6 months!  It all depends on how fast (or slow) of a judge our case is matched with in Taiwan.

Monday, May 14, 2012

More Pictures and a Video

Posted by Angie at 7:00 AM 13 comments
{catching up?  See our referral announcement and our referral story}

Tuesday night, after a full and wonderful day of sharing our news, I received a message from one of the fabulous volunteers at His Hands.  

What is your email so I can send you updates from His Hands about Levi? I'm going over to the House of Hope today to meet him and take pics of him!

And boy did we get some pictures.  18 of them!!!  Here are just a few of our favorites.

Hi everyone!  So nice to meet you!
My Mama is a December baby, so I don't mind rocking this Christmas outfit at all!  In fact, I hope to be home for Christmas!
Look how tiny I am compared to this bottle.!
 
 We also got a video of Levi learning his name!  

And then...the following night...we got MORE pictures!!!  29 more, to be exact!  Boy are we spoiled.  I can't even begin to tell y'all how exciting this was for us to see more of his sweet little face.  
Sweet dreams little fella.
My husband saw this and said "Look at our sophisticated baby.  Pinky out!"

Levi sleeps with his mouth open...like his mother! ;-)
My heart is SO full and I am so grateful for this priceless gift of Levi.  These pictures allow us to fall in love with our son from afar...to see is tiny nose, his early expressions, his little fingers.  Oh what a blessing they are.  Today Levi is 2 weeks old.  Happy Birthday little man!!

Much love,
Blessed Mama

P.S. We hope to be cleared for travel to pick up Levi in 4-6 months.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Getting the Referral

Posted by Angie at 7:00 AM 8 comments
{for those of you who missed Wednesday's big announcement, see it here!}

I have prayed for this child, 
and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him.  
So now I give him to the Lord. 
1 Samuel 1:27-28

Late Sunday night I sat at my computer, proof-reading the paper I was writing.  Satisfied that it was complete, I looked at the clock.  1 am. I clicked onto the internet to e-mail a copy of the paper to myself, so I could print out from my office computer in the morning.  1 new e-mail.  Preparing to delete what I thought would be a junk e-mail, I clicked on the tab.  Referral for Adoption. A tiny little paperclip appeared next to the words, indicating that there was an attachment.  I left the computer and ran up the stairs to wake up a slumbering Future Papa.

 

Every good and perfect gift is from above. 
James 1:17

"We got a referral!"  I shook him awake.  We came back down the stairs, pulled another chair over to my laptop, and clicked on the message:

On May 4th you had officially been on our waiting list for one full year, this is a long time to wait and we know that God has worked in your life and refined you in ways that you never imagined during this time.  We are thrilled that the day has finally come when we can send you the good news that we are referring a sweet baby to you.

Together, we read the first little details about our son.  His name.  His birthday.  His story.  We laughed, we prayed, we hugged.  We have a son!

And taking a child, he set him in the midst of them. Whom when he had embraced, he saith to them: Whosoever shall receive one such child as this in my name, receiveth me. And whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me. 
Mark 9:36-37

We clicked on the attachment to see the pictures--but they didn't appear!  I immediately e-mailed His Hands, asking if they could send them in another format.  Future Papa tried to figure out another way to get them to open. After about 30 minutes, I decided to quickly take my shower.  Of course, as soon as I had conditioner in my hair Future Papa was banging on the bathroom door.  The first picture we received was one of a baby held by his first mother.  We really couldn't see much of him, but we did see her, looking lovingly down at a little bundle in her arms.  She is so beautiful and this picture will be invaluable to us.  After so many hours of prayer that our adoption could be an open one, our first picture included her.  It's amazing the way God works.


“Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.”
Psalm 100:1

 Soon, a second picture came through.

The following morning, we received three more.

All day Tuesday we called family and friends, sharing our news.  I could not wipe the grin off my face.  We chose a name.

Levi.

It means "joined in harmony" and fit beautifully with the name his first mother gave him, which we will be using as his middle name.  Our little Levi.

And on Tuesday night, we received yet another beautiful, wonderful gift.  Looking forward to sharing it with you all on Monday!

Much love,
Blessed Mama

P.S.  Interested in giving to a wonderful ministry?  His Hands is collecting donations for some much needed items.  Go "shopping" here and if you see something you would like to donate towards, please email Sara at sara.hatcher08@gmail.com and let her know how much you would like to donate and which item you would like it to go towards. She will give you all the instructions on how to make the donation. Your donation will be tax deductible and made securely through His Hands!!  All donations need to be made before June 1, 2012.  Little Levi and his friends will LOVE you for it!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Our Referral!

Posted by Angie at 8:00 AM 60 comments

Much love,
Blessed Mama

{On Friday I will share all the details about our exciting news!}

{If you like this announcement, it was designed for me by Heather McGuire!  If you need a customized invitation or announcement, I wholeheartedly recommend her: hmgmcguire@gmail.com }

Monday, May 7, 2012

Joy is Contagious!

Posted by Angie at 7:00 AM 1 comments
{from pinterest}
Hoping you all have a JOYFUL Monday!!!

Much love,
Future Mama

Friday, May 4, 2012

One Year Anniversary

Posted by Angie at 7:00 AM 1 comments
A year ago today, His Hands officially accepted our application to adopt!  And oh what a year it has been...
A year ago today, I was working on these announcements:

 What will the next year bring??  Should be exciting...hopefully I will be making another type of announcement very soon...

Much love,
Future Mama

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

April Baby

Posted by Angie at 7:30 AM 0 comments
Another baby united with his family!  Meet Carson everyone!
{from His Hands Face*book Page}

Much love,
Future Mama 

Slowly but surely, we are movin' on up the list to a referral! 
July Babies: 
A Referral Story 
Another His Hands Family Created!
 
 August Baby:

October Baby:

November Baby:

December Baby:
 
January Baby:

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

April Swap

Posted by Angie at 7:00 AM 0 comments
Friends for Adoption is a "buddy system" that links adopting families together so that they can encourage each other through the twists and turns of the process.  Each month, you and your Friend send and receive encouragements (with a $15.00 limit) in the mail.  This post is about my gift to Brooke.  Even though my husband and I are saving up for our own adoption, we believe we should support others financially, with prayer, and with encouragement as we are able.  Find out more about Friends for Adoption, including how to sign up, here.  

This past swap, I was on top of things!  Usually I don't stumble across something for Brooke until halfway through the month, but now that adorable Addie is officially home, shopping has become so much easier!  So, when this little outfit caught my eye, I knew I just had to pick it up for her.



 
How adorable, right!! I loved the little bunny feet and tail ;-)

So, this post is a reminder to all of you involved in Friends for Adoption...it's now May!  Which means you have 2 weeks to get your encouraging gift/letter/package of smiles ($15 or less) in the mail to your Friend!   Wow...May...

Want to see what Brooke got me?  Then head on over to her blog!

Much love,
Future Mama
 
Want to catch up on our past swaps?  Need some gift ideas?  Here's the July's swap, August swap, September swap, October Swap,  November Swap, December Swap, January swap, February swap, and March swap!

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