Friday, May 22, 2009

God of this City...

This is one of the first seasons of AI that I didn't watch. I have to confess another reality show took it's place...Dancing With the Stars. I know, I know! I didn't think I would ever watch DWTS, but when they announced that Shawn Johnson would be competing this year I was hooked. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE women's gymnastics. And, SHE WON!! Anyways, just in case you have been living under a rock, you know that the winner of AI is Kris Allen. I just ran across this of him singing one of my all time favorite songs on youtube. The video also features lots of footage of our town...pretty cool. You can watch it here:



Kinda wish I would have watched this season ;o)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Not today...

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
James 1:2-4

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Tomorrow is THE Day...

While we are sleeping tonight, a judge in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia will decide if Julianne will legally be our daughter. Wow. Needless to say, we are praying that we receive a positive ruling tomorrow and will be able to bring our daughter home to her forever family. Our caseworker answered (many) questions I had about how some of the formalities will work tomorrow. We learned that Julianne's uncle will travel with the orphanage director (the orphanage she was placed in by her uncle in her hometown area) to Addis for court. The trip will take the gentleman about seven hours. I am guessing they left today, but I don't know that for sure. For those of you that followed Sophie Le's journey, we traveled seven hours to her orphanage from Ho Chi Minh City. Kinda neat that both of our girls are the same travel time from the "big city." We should hear from our caseworker between 10 and 2 tomorrow. IF we pass, we will also find out our travel dates. PRAYERS PLEASE!!! Our great desire is to pass and be able to travel in time to wish her a happy birthday!

A kinda funny tidbit to add here is that when we were out of town earlier this week, we left our phone chargers at the hotel. We called the hotel and they couldn't locate them. My phone made it to today, but the battery ran out tonight after church. Neil has been wanting to get new phones for awhile, but his rather thrifty wife wasn't completely on board :o) ...until I realized I wouldn't be getting the call tomorrow with a dead phone :o) We left directly from church and got new phones :o) *I do realize we could have bought chargers.* Hopefully I can figure out how to answer this fancy new phone tomorrow...haha!

Three families (that participate in an online forum) went to court today. One family passed, one family is waiting on the birth parent to return with proper id and the third family's case did not pass and they were assigned a new court date in June.

Please pray for these families that didn't make it through yesterday and the five families that are scheduled for tomorrow (including ours). Please pray that God's grants us peace and grace if it is not His plan for us to pass court tomorrow. Please pray that the files are in order and there are no missing or incorrect documents. Please pray the judge has time to make it through all of the cases. Please pray that birth families make it to court safely (and with proper id). Please pray for the emotional drain that the birth families will face tomorrow. Please pray especially for the precious children of Ethiopia.

Tuesday afternoon I was outside watching the girl's play. I was holding my bible not really sure what book I should open to. Our court date is the 21st so I opened it to Psalms 21.

These are the words I read:
"The king shall have joy in Your strength, O LORD; And in Your salvation how greatly shall he rejoice! 2 You have given him his heart’s desire, And have not withheld the request of his lips."

God is so good...all of the time.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Gymboree Coupon

Click HERE for a 30% off Gymboree coupon...it is also gymbuck time!! Coupon plus gymbucks...could it get any better :o) It expires tomorrow so get shopping! I placed an online order on Thursday and I can't wait for it to get here. I was so excited to shop for all three girls for the first time! Believe it or not, these are the first outfits I have bought for Julianne! Bows, headbands and "product"...now that is a different story :o)

Sweet Julianne is 11 months old today!! I pray she is home with her family for her first birthday next month!!!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Happy Forever Family Day, Sophie Le!!!

This day two years ago, we promised the government officials in Vietnam to take care of and to love Le Thi Phuong Thiet forever. I cannot imagine our family without sweet little Sophie Le Thiet! We are so lucky to be her forever family!

Wow, she has grown!! Here she is the morning we picked her up from the orphanage to take her to the Giving & Receiving Ceremony where she would legally become OUR daughter. This is one of my favorite pictures ever. Hillary Ashton walked through the doors of Sophie Le's room and asked her if she was ready to go.
Hillary Ashton & Sophie Le

Here she is with her special nanny.
Sophie Le with her nanny

Here is the justice department in Ninh Thuan
Justice Department, Ninh Thuan

This is when we got back to the hotel. I just LOVE the sweet little outfit she was wearing. It was red, white and blue and said "USA."
Back at the hotel

Here is our little sweetie on May 15, 2008
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And today, May 15, 2009...I wonder how many more years I will be able to squeeze her into this outfit?
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Thank you God for blessing our family with these sweet little girls!
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SIX DAYS UNTIL JULIANNE'S COURT DATE!!!!!

And here is a video of this day two years ago (this is a segment of Sophie Le's adoption video, it is in nine parts...in case you were wondering):

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

May 13, 2007...

We woke up in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), Vietnam. We had arrived in town the day before after traveling about 24 hours. We met our driver in the lobby at 8:00 a.m. and loaded up the van as a family of three for the last time. We ate breakfast in the van and enjoyed the beautiful, seven hour drive to the Ninh Thuan province, where our daughter was living at an orphanage. After checking into our (AWESOME) hotel, we drove to the orphanage to meet our precious little Vietnamese daughter. It was hands down one of the best days of my life. We are so blessed to have this little angel in our lives. Thank you God for this precious miracle!

Here is the video of our first meeting:

Monday, May 11, 2009

TEN days until court!!!

Our dossier and Julianne's dossier has been submitted to the courts and MOWA (Ministry of Women’s Affairs). MOWA will "review the files, write their opinion (typically the day before the court date), and issue their opinion to the courts on the day of the court date. MOWA’s opinion is typically an approval or an objection with a request for additional information or documents. Julianne's uncle will be required to appear at the court on the day of the court date in order to relinquish his custodial rights."

As you can imagine, we are so ready to meet and hold Julianne. We are praying that it is God's will that we pass court on the 21st. If we do pass, we will travel to pick her up in June...possibly in time to wish our princess a HAPPY FIRST BIRTHDAY! If our case does not pass court, we will wait for another court date and try again. I would be honored and humbled if you would say a prayer for our case. We REALLY want to bring our little Julianne home ASAP!

Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Last week was a GREAT week for Julianne updates :o) God was so good to provide us with great encouragement throughout the week. We received ELEVEN pictures of our sweet baby. One from our agency along with a great update. It sounds like Julianne has moved to the older babies room. I can't help but smile every time I read the update...

“‘Julianne (the name they used was a nickname related to her Ethiopian name...which was funny to me as well) is really sweet! She is loving and friendly and loves to play with her neighbors! She is also the smallest in her room but she can definitely hold her own. There are a couple of children in her room who are very vocal about having their demands met. I am afraid Julianne is learning some bad habits but as more words come, we will hear less whining! She is learning good things, too, so I guess it is trade off! She can sit without support, stand holding onto something, object if you take a toy away, and pull up to standing to see what all the whining is about."

So I think this was a really nice way of saying she is doing great and is a bit whiny. Haha. She is also up 11 oz from last month!!!

The other great pictures came from Lee Anne and Amy. Thank you so much, ladies!!! I can't begin to explain how awesome it is to see new pictures of our child. It is hard knowing who your child is, but not being able to be with your child. In a few of the pictures, Julianne was wearing the outfit we sent her and she was holding the baby we sent. It is so amazing to see her with items we have touched and prayed over.

Did I mention that we also received a video several minutes long and NINETEEN new pictures a few weeks ago from this mom that was in Ethiopia picking up her adorable son? Y'all, I HEARD Julianne's voice!!! Which I am sure I don't have to tell you was the sweetest sound I have ever heard! She also blew kisses, waved and said "mama." She is soooo smart :o)

I can't wait to share pictures with you guys! I know I may be a little biased, but Julianne is GORGEOUS! Her eyes are soooo big and almost mesmerizing and her lips are just so sweet and pouty.

Here are a few videos of the girls from this week. The first one is Sophie Le singing a song she made up about...you will just have to watch it :o) The second one is Hillary Ashton singing a song she learned in preschool today. I am so blessed to have these two litle girls in my life!