Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Woooo Hoooo!

Today I enjoyed a wonderful day away from my computer! The boys and I had lunch at my Mom N Dad's with my Aunt and Uncle and cousins. We all went to Jamesport and shopped a bit and as we were getting ready to leave I check my email on my phone.... Here's what it said:

TA's are in!!!!

Hello families,

Final approvals (usually called Travel Approvals) have arrived! That's the good news... but the difficult news is that we have not yet received confirmation of the consulate appointment. Until we actually receive confirmation, it's too early to make your travel arrangements.

In order to give you an idea of earliest possible travel times, we want you to know that we have requested an appointment with the US Consulate in Guangzhou on June 30. IF WE ARE ABLE TO RECEIVE CONFIRMATION of a June 30 consulate appointment, you would need to arrive in your adoption city on Sunday, June 21. The latest possible day to leave the U.S. would likely be June 19. Until this appointment is confirmed, however, it is too early to book travel arrangements. Unfortunately, because the Consulate is closed on Thursday, May 28, and the Chinese government offices are closed for three days at the end of this week, we won’t know the appointment date for sure until next week at the soonest.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Thank You!!!

Thank You Veteran, Soldier... Thank You God for giving me life in America.
(scroll down to the bottom and shut off music player to hear video)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Just as a butterfly's wings can start a ripple effect that leads to a hurricane someplace in the world, so can a pig's sneeze result in a completely dejected aura in our household!

Bald For Brighton

Please visit this blog and give if you're able.
This is one of the ladies from LadyBugsNLove that helped me get my last update and wonderful photo's of Jia.
You can read more about her and her adoption story

Friday, May 22, 2009

A Soldiers Faith

TGIF - Today God is First... so in keeping with that, I wanted to share a story a soldier recently shared with me. One I feel is totally blog worthy and one I want to post here so I may go back and read it time to time. Here it is...

Occasionally when one of the doctors get behind in our office, they will intercom me and ask me to go back to the exam room and finish up the chart and bring the patient out for glasses, rather than them making the longggggg walk up to the optical area with the patient.
Well one of these times, I was able to get in on the end of the conversation between the doctor and the patient. This patient had been a soldier, and Dr. T was thanking him for his service. The man said "So many things I fought for back then, people don't even care about now." Immediate Discount in his future! In all seriousness, I still get tears just thinking about it.
For some reason I was flipping through his chart as his name didn't sound familiar to me and he was a new patient to us. I noticed on his Patient Information Sheet what his wifes name was. Then it hit me!
Jack has the most wonderful and kind Aunt and Uncle ever. His Uncle passed away last Halloween and he is forever missed. Anyway, they had best friends that I had heard about pretty much everytime we visited with them. The kind that are there for you, through thick and thin. The kind that are like family... perhaps even closer at times. The kind of friends you have laughed with, shared joy with, overcome fears and triumphs with, the kind you mourn with. You get the picture... Lifelong friends.
This man was one of the friends! So I introduced myself, although, I'm sure we'd met in the past. Sometimes you forget! So in the midst of trying on glasses and such, we had the best conversation. He asked me if I'd heard about the time that he and Uncle J. were in Japan and I said I didn't think I had. He went on to say that he was in the Marines... (I think) and he was stationed in Japan. He had went to a popular hang out and decided to leave and head back to his quarters. As he was telling the story he said he could still remember the scenery of the walk... he was headed up an incline and he saw this tall lanky dude coming at him. He thought to himself it sure resembled Uncle J. but he was in the Navy, so surely not.
But guess what! It was! He said both of them, given a choice, would've chose to see their wives, but God knew what they needed. They needed their friend. The one who knew how the other feels, the one that can sympathize, the one going through the same struggles. He told me... That's how I know there's a God. From that night. Stuck in Japan. Away from his family. Feeling lonely. Feeling sad. God sent him his best friend.
How great is our God to pull that 'ole Navy ship into harbour at the exact place where the Marines were, 1/2 a world away, put these two friends on the exact same street at the exact same time! Only God...
TODAY! God is first.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


Okay, not what I wanted to hear. But God bless my China co-ordinater... she's on the ball!
I finally broke down and sent her an email regarding our TA... or lack there of. She had already checked on it for us. Here's her response....

Dear Joy, thanks for your patience. (I loved that part!) Guess what, I did check with CCAA through our China liaison yesterday about your process. I knew it would be very hard for you to wait. CCAA indicated that your paperwork is currently with the main office from which the TA is issued. They did not tell when the TA will be mailed out but confirmed that yours is there for sure. I personally believe CCAA is on-hold from sending out TAs right now but we did receive a batch of TAs on 5/8/09. So let’s keep our fingers crossed with hope.

Guangdong is one of the few provinces that stopped taking the adoption appointment for now. I’ve learned a few weeks ago that one family was quarantined in the White Swan Hotel because they arrived in a flight where a Swine Flu case was confirmed. IF, your TA comes in, we will contact the Guangdong provincial office and US Consulate to check on their schedule no matter what. Fortunately, your fingerprints and CIS approval are both in good place from being expired anytime soon. I’m very sorry I’ll be in touch soon

So there ya go. She did tell us to go ahead and send Jia a 2nd care package, so I'll be doing that ASAP! I'm hanging on.... I reminded myself this very morning that I cannot see the future, but God can. He has a plan and His own timetable. He will not fail me and I have no reason to be discouraged. The wait is unbearable, but so far, I'm able to take it one day at a time and get through.
Check back next week though when I still do not have my TA and see how I am!
Prayers Coveted.... JMS

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Monday, May 18, 2009


After much craziness and stress... graduation is now behind us!
I think God knew I couldn't deal with graduation knowing I had my TA and needed to be packing for China... and He's probably right. So I think this will be the week! Purely speculation... but bring it on! Now I'm ready!
I paid for professional photo's of Jadeth getting his diploma, so I set back and enjoyed the ceremony. I'll post those when we get them!
Here he is lined up to get his diploma and giving my dad a high 5 as he walks by!

The reception was so awesome... and crazy! I realized at the end we hadn't even taken pictures! We didn't even get one together with his cap and gown. That's a little sad, but we enjoyed ourselves so much we just didn't even think about it.

Here's Jack, Jadeth and I. Jory and Jacen were off playing and we didn't even get a family photo! Jory and Jacen were SO good the entire day! I didn't ever have to get onto them. I just couldn't have asked for better behaved boys.... that day anyway! :-)

Oh The Place's You'll Go!

Jadeth at his cake table...

Here's the cake! I worked so hard on it! I think it came out great! Many people asked me where I ordered it from! Oh, and can you spot the ladybug? A little self induced good luck!

I had a lady come up to me and whisper... "Who did your cupcakes?" I was so proud to say... "I DID!"

And here's the biggest hit of the day... CAKEBALLS! I was serving cake and someone came up and asked for one of the famous cake balls! Seriously! 1/2 an hour into the reception and word had already gotten around!

Thanks to everyone who showed up, sent a card, said a prayer, paid a visit... now and for the last 18 years. You are much loved and appreciated! Please keep Jadeth in your prayers and he takes this giant leap forward and decides what to do with his future!
This summer will involve working at the pool and trying to decide on college.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Some Catch Up!

I told you things were going to get busy around here! Here's a bit of what we've been up to!
Last Saturday we helped Little Miss Avery celebrate her 1st birthday! She was entirely adorable and really enjoyed her cake!!!
Jadeth had an FCCLA awards banquet where he was recognized as the chapter president and also FCCLA Member of the Year! Woo Hoo!

This is Jadeth and his lovely friend, Michelle!

This is National Library Week at Jory's school and the librarian asked the local businesses if they would send someone to read to each class in the Elementary.
I was fortunate enough to read to Jory's class! He didn't know I was coming so it was fun to see his face!

Here's Jory's classmates...

And here's a clip of Jacen's band class playing the Fight Song for our school!


Jory: "there are a lot of cows in California."
Me: "What makes you say that?"
Jory gives me the 'look'
Jory replies dead serious: "It's COWafornia."

Monday, May 11, 2009

Bow Give Away!

Wouldn't you love to win a set of these summer bows? Sara Beth bows is giving away 3 sets of summer bows in May! Check out her site here and sign up to enter! If you don't like bows.... I do! Be sure and tell her Joy sent you!

Friday, May 8, 2009

TGIF May 8th

Today God Is First.... I really don't need to say anymore than that.

BUT!!!!!!!! Just to share how good my God is on this lovely rainy Friday....

1. I received an email that our Visa's have been mailed back to us... so no delay with the swine flu on our Visa's! Yippee!!!!!

2. Today is the day that our little Wen was found abandoned. Her birthday is January 7th, but she wasn't abandoned until May 8th. 3 years ago today is the beginning of her journey... Today not only she, but also her birthmom is heavy on my heart.

3. I checked my email today and had this!!!!!

We requested an update through LadyBugsNLove last week and they were wonderful to work with! Thanks Angela and Kelly!!!!

Looks like a soccer player Jadeth!!!!! Every update we received has said a ball is her favorite toy and every picture and video we have, she's holding a ball!

Isn't she adorable and springy looking in her little floral top! Her height and weight haven't changed since our February updates... 80 Cm tall and 10 Kg. BUT!!!! This time we were able to find out how big her foot is! 14.5 Cm!! That's about an 8 or 8 1/2 shoe! I haven't been able to buy shoes yet.... now watch out!

Someone has already learned to 'pout'!!!!

Tonight is Jacen's band concert, I work tomorrow and Sunday is Mothers Day... so I hope I am able to check back in today and let you all know that we received our TA, but if not... See you all Monday! Have a wonderful weekend and God Bless all you mom's and mom's to be!
Remember... Today God Is First!!!!

Thursday, May 7, 2009


Today is Thursday May 7th, 2009. It is also the 58th Annual Observance of the National Day of Prayer. It is also day 22 of waiting for our TA (Travel Approval). Our agency has a chart of timelines and the wait time shown for past familes from LOA to TA is 23-38 days.
Someone on RQ shared this devotional and it brings great comfort today...

At Just the Right the Time...

Why is being on time so challenging for some of us? Even when we start early, something inevitably gets in our way to make us late.
But here’s the good news: God is always on time! Speaking of the arrival of Jesus, Paul said, “When the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son” (Gal. 4:4). The long-awaited, promised Savior came at just the right time.
Jesus’ arrival during the Roman Empire’s Pax Romana (the peace of Rome) was perfect timing. The known world was united by one language of commerce. A network of global trade routes provided open access to the whole world. All of this guaranteed that the gospel could move rapidly in one tongue. No visas. No impenetrable borders. Only unhindered access to help spread the news of the Savior whose crucifixion fulfilled the prophecy of the Lamb who would be slain for our sins (Isa. 53). All in God’s perfect timing!
All of this should remind us that the Lord knows what time is best for us as well. If you’re waiting for answered prayer or the fulfillment of one of His promises, don’t give up. If you think He has forgotten you, think again. When the fullness of time is right for you, He’ll show up—and you’ll be amazed by His brilliant timing! —
Joe Stowell
Not ours to know the reason why

Unanswered is our prayer,

But ours to wait for God’s own time

To lift the cross we bear. —Anon.
God’s timing is always perfect.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Luckily, I had taken my camera's memory card to my mom's to save a couple of prom pictures on her computer. So here's what I have! I lost the video of Jadeth and Kayna participating in Grand March and I lost the picture of Jadeth and I together... UGh! That's just the beginning!
Anyway... Enjoy these!

Jadeth and Kayna
Sr. Prom April 25th, 2009

Jadeth and a few of his Senior Friends...

Monday, May 4, 2009


Today I was accused of being a bad blogger. I know! I know! It's been a while! We have been sooooo busy and I've had so many pictures to share... BUT! Last Friday, Jack and I celebrated our 16th anniversary. We were fixin' to head out to dinner and a movie and I wanted Jadeth to take our picture to mark the occasion. I couldn't find my camera and 'someone' (I won't mention names, but it starts with a J) took it with them to the skatepark (whups, did that just give it away?). Anyway, all my pictures got deleted and replaced by skateboarding videos!
I was soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo mad! I had pictures of Easter, Prom, Jia's carepackage we sent, and others I can't even remember.
Anyway - I'll try and get you all caught up! We are really getting busy now and hitting summer full swing! The biggest event is Jadeth graduating May 17th! We're having a reception afterwards, so lots of planning and baking! We've been getting annoucements sent out and I"m planning to make his cake myself... why not add ot my stress level?!
Jacen and Jory have started ball practice, Jacen on Tuesday's and Friday's and Jory on Monday's. Actually tonight, Jory had practice at 6, Jadeth had his FCCLA award banquet at 6 and he had tennis at 4. At 5 minutes til 6:00... Jack was still helping his friend Brad work on his mom's car and didn't realize the time. Jory had to be at practice, Jadeth was still on the tennis court, calling me to bring his dress clothes to school. Whew! It all worked out though. Just a little excitement.
Anyway, back to our busy life... Jack is having the race car lettered and then he'll be ready to start racing on Saturday nights.
This Friday Jacen has his band concert...Hmm typing that out makes me wonder about ball practice!
And I've began washing some clothes for Jia and getting things ready for her! Here's the latest on the adoption... We sent off for our Visa's last week. We had to use a courier service because Visa applications can't be simply mailed in. I received an email saying it was delivered to the Consulate on Thursday. Today I read where Visa's submitted after May 4th would take a few extra days for processing, apparently due to the swine flu! We just barely missed that! Thank you Lord! If God be for me, who can be against me? We're also waiting on our TA (Travel Approval) from the CCAA. Our agency told us to expect it 2-4 weeks from LOA, which we rec'd on 4/15/09. So... as soon as they give us the green light, we can go! Right now we are praying the swine flu fizzles out so the CCAA doesn't delay issuing our travel approval.
I promise to spend the next few days getting you caught up and adding what few pictures I do have for ya'll!