A response from LiXue!!!!!

I can't even begin to tell you how happy this makes us! Tears of Joy! If you read the letter a few posts below, July 17th, you will see the questions I asked her and how she responded.

Dear dad and mom,

Hello! I am 13 years old. I am very happy to receive the letter, pictures and gifts from you! Seeing your smiling face made me wish I could see you right now and be a part of your big happy family. My favorite colors are black and yellow. I like to play basketball. Oh, yes, my favorite sport star is famous James from NBA! I like sweet and spicy food. I am not really good at cooking though, I will do my best; I go to art class every week and learn drawing with my art teacher. My dream is become an art teacher, so I can teach the children to use their pencil and draw the beautiful world in their heart. I am going school at publishing technical school. Although my English is not very good now, I will study hard. I have also heard that you are doing the adoption paper work for me. I look forward to your coming.

Lastly, I sincerely wish dad and mom healthy and every thing goes well with you!

Love from your daughter:

visit our adoption website and sign the guestbook! Click Here!


Bearing Fruit

My garden is beautiful this year. It actually has grown even bigger and more beautiful since these pictures where taken.
I never had a garden that actually lived...really. Except maybe a few plantings in the front.
But this year I had all the tools I needed and was mindful of what I needed to keep it going. including some organic pesticide. In the past, by the time July comes around, everything was overgrown or dead from neglect or lack of time and understanding what exactly I needed to do to keep it alive!
Now, every morning I go out on our back porch and pray. I look out the window and remember how blessed I am. I never really spent so much time on the porch before. God couldn't have given me a more precious gift this summer. It's a reminder of how much more I have today, than I had yesterday. I'm not talking about "things", I'm talking about understanding, love, family, and God almighty working all things together for good. I love the Lord with all my heart and my hearts desire is to seek Him daily. Everything else just "works" when I do. Maybe not my way, but always His way. Bearing Fruit.


New Adoption Website

Since it's difficult to get on blogspot in China, I've created a new adoption site for our journey. Not sure I like it yet... we'll see :) http://ariellecomeshome.shutterfly.com/


Sent a package!

We sent a letter to our daughter. Included in the package was the translated letter with a stamped envelope to send us a response, candy for the foster family, a snoopy shirt, and another piece of clothing we are sure of? and photos of the family. We did specifically ask to send clothing. We used Ladybugsnlove.com and Angela was very helpful! Now we will see if I get any response. I also included other information but for privacy I opted to leave out that information here. The letter is below.
Dear Li *ue,
We are very excited to tell you that we are adopting you. We are working hard to gather all the paperwork necessary...

Our family is very excited to meet you. We are a Christian family and go to church. We have many friends at church and a youth group for young people your age. You will make many friends here. You have two older sisters ... You have one older brother, ... and two younger brothers... who are both adopted. Evan was born in Shaanxi, China and Asher was born in the country Haiti. We also have three dogs, Veda and Izzy and Bear. I hope you will like them. They need a new friend to love them.

Every night, before Evan would go to bed, he would pray for a sister. Now his prayer is answered, we are very happy!

We like the outdoors. Although Momma is not a sports fan, the rest of the family loves sports. We also love music and the boys all play video games. I’m sure you will enjoy doing that with them. We live in...., not far from the Atlantic Ocean and often go there for entertainment and amusements. There is a lot to do during the summer at the beach!
• What are your favorite colors?
• What do you like to do for fun?
• What grade are you in at school? What is your favorite subject?
• Do you know any English?
• What do you like to eat and do you cook? You may need to teach me!
You are very beautiful and have a lovely smile. I saw some of your artwork. You are a gifted artist. Maybe you can do more art when you come to the US.

We want to know everything about you. I know how difficult it will be to leave China and your foster family, but we will love you and help you through your sadness. We can stay in contact with your foster family and any friends you have in China if we can. I think you will like the United States. Many opportunities if you seek them.

We are excited and anticipate the day you can come home to live with us here in America…to be a forever family! Try and learn some English so we can communicate but don’t worry too much about it, we will manage! I hope you like your clothing and the pictures.

Love, Your Momma and Dad (Baba), Amy, Lauren, Bradley, Evan, and Asher


Independence Day Weekend

We had been planning to go somewhere this weekend, so glad we followed through! Although we didn't go far, it was a much needed get away. And there were so many new experiences for Asher! These were actually taken a couple days before the weekend. We don't live far from Ocean City NJ and we love it there. So we packed up the kids late afternoon Thursday to give Ash the Dash his first taste of rides on the boards :)
As always, Evan was a little freaked by all the sights and sounds. We try not to make much of it as he usually is quick to realize there is fun to be had, even when things are LOUD! I have to admit there were a lot of people there. This was a photo of him warming up the the booming music. Although he looks in pain, screaming or something, he's actually dancing. This was taken after his "fun" train ride so he was happy!
Our new wheels, and boy is this thing heavy! Really I had no idea it would be so heavy. We wanted something that could go over rocks, dirt roads, and sand...but boy is it heavy.
I'm sure this is the first of many visits to the boards this year, hehe! Next time Levi will be with us :)
We loaded up and headed out to a folk festival on Saturday. I wouldn't recommend this when it's 100 degrees as it is today in the NE! But Hey, it was ONLY in the 90's on Saturday. There were conveniently placed mist shacks called the Cooling Bridges, a welcome sight to us all. As you can see, Evan is jumping for the mist floating over his head...sorry Evan, no cool mist for you...
Asher decided he likes pony rides...
...and cherry water ice....
...And yes, I did pay that much money for a Mocha Latte, mmmmmmmmmm.

We panned for gold and gems...
and Asher found a few gems of his own...
Then we descended the dark recesses of a cave to learn about stalagmites and stalactite's. A COOL thing to do when the temps are soaring.

We decided to take a hot hot hike up the side of a mountain, what were we thinking? I'll tell you what...We went on the "easy" trail. We were told it was "easy". I guess it was "easy" for a young, in shape, adult. But for middle aged, out of shape folks, such as ourselves, and young children with medical issues, it was a bit of a challenge. I wasn't prepared for the up scaling ascension across the rocky crags. And much of it done with Asher on my hip, ON MY HIP. Carrying him!

Was it worth the climb?
Yes it was!
And I have to say that the memories it all created will last these boys a lifetime. Really, it was that much fun, and challenging for them. But they made it to the top because the persevered! I'm going to use this analogy for a long time with these guys...Don't give up! And drink plenty of water on the way ;)
Watching my babies enjoy themselves freely reminded me that we are free indeed! Freedom in Christ Jesus! No more a slave to sin and the world. This is such a beautiful place, really it is! But I can only imagine what beautiful peeks are before us as we travel this life, learning to trust in Him, lean on Him, and fueling up with the water of His Holy Spirit along the way! Amen Amen!

We ran into some local fireworks and Asher enjoyed his first fireworks...ok, I know I'm a cornball with all the "firsts", but considering where he would have been, if even alive, I'm truly celebrating and thanking Jesus. We are all citizens of this wonderful country celebrating our independence together. I don't pretend to know everything, but I do know this: our lives without our Father, without our being adopted into his royal household, would be an empty one, with no real future....
We would begin our lives, only to end it in a brief moment...but an eternal decision to except our Father's invitation into His family gives to us a future that never ends.

The picture above is our young warrior, covering his ears during the fireworks. He's come a long way. He was deathly afraid a couple years back, now he's growing up. The picture below is our Haitian prince...He preferred to "rest" during all the confusion and loud banging. I think we may all learn from this kid......as for me today, my body is still aching from carring that kid up the mountain!