Sunday, May 29, 2011

Itinerary and Prayer Guide

Here is what we know of our itinerary so far and how you can be praying for us each day. Please know that we will be about twelve hours ahead in China, so what we have listed for each day will actually happen the night before while you are sleeping. We covet your prayers as we travel to bring Amelia home!

June 2 -- Leave for Beijing! We fly from Peoria to Chicago to Beijing.

Pray for smooth flights, no cancellations, and safety. Pray that we would honor the Lord with our attitudes during a long day of travel.

June 3 -- Arrive in Beijing at 3:15 pm.

Pray that our guide would be at the airport to meet us and that all our luggage is there as well!

June 4 -- Agency orientation, sight-seeing at the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square.

Pray that our children would be well-behaved and good travelers. Pray that we would all recover quickly from jet lag.

June 5 -- Great Wall and Summer Palace tour

Pray that we would appreciate the culture and people of China as we learn more about Amelia's birth country.

June 6 -- Fly to Wuhan

Please pray for a safe flight to Wuhan. Pray that we don't have any trouble as we are in transit without a guide.

June 7 -- Amelia day! We are scheduled to meet Amelia around 3:00 this afternoon.

Please pray for God's abundant grace on all of us as we meet our daughter for the first time. Pray that she will bond to us easily and that she will allow us to comfort her as she grieves. Pray especially for Amelia as she is leaving everything she has known today.

June 8 -- Adoption paperwork -- Today our adoption will be official!

Continue to pray for Amelia's transition into our family. Pray for our other kids to be patient and understanding if she is very needy of our attention or doesn't seem to "like us" right away. Pray also for Michelle's mom to have stamina as she helps with all the kids.

June 9 -- Free day. We may visit the Yellow Crane Tower today, depending on how Amelia is doing.

We have read that Day 3 is often the hardest for the children as the realize that the new family is permanent and that they are not going back to their former home. Please continue to pray for Amelia's bonding with our family and for her little heart and body as she works through her grief.

June 10 -- Pick up Amelia's passport and fly to Guangzhou.

We have been given permission to have Amelia's passport ready a day faster than usual, due to the Dragon Boat Festival holiday. Please pray that it would indeed be ready this afternoon so that we can fly to Guangzhou.

June 11 -- Medical exam

Guangzhou is where the US Consulate is located and where we must apply for Amelia's visa to enter the US. The medical exam is one of the requirements to get her visa. Please pray that she will do well in what will likely be a scary situation for her. Pray also for our other kids as they will probably be getting anxious to be home.

June 12 -- Free day

Pray for continued safety and good health, that we would make wise choices with what we eat and drink. Pray also for our new bond with Amelia to be strengthened each day as she learns to trust us to care for her.

June 13 -- Free day

Pray that our family would be a good witness for the Lord while we are in China. Pray also that all the paperwork needs to be completed here would be done accurately.

June 14 -- Consulate appointment

Pray that Amelia's visa would be issued on time, as we don't have much "wiggle room" before we leave Guangzhou. Pray also that the Lord would prepare safe and smooth travels for us as we prepare to come home.

June 15 -- Pick up Amelia's visa and take the train to Hong Kong.

Please pray again that the visa would be issued ON TIME as we are leaving for Hong Kong this evening. Pray for us as we navigate the hotel to train station to van to hotel route this evening. We will likely not reach our hotel in Hong Kong until around 11:00 tonight. Pray again for our children to be wonderful travelers.

June 16 -- Fly from Hong Kong to Chicago to Peoria.

Pray that our flights would be on time, smooth, and uneventful. The first flight is around 14 hours. Please pray that Amelia will travel well and that we would all find ways to make the trip home enjoyable.

THANK YOU so much for lifting our family to the Lord! It would be so encouraging to us if you could leave us comments so we know you are praying for us!

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Friday, May 27, 2011

The Girls' Room

We gave Elizabeth the option of whether or not she wanted to share her room with Amelia. She did, and we are thankful. Amelia has probably never been alone in her life, so her transition will likely be made easier by sharing a room with her sister. We've had fun getting the room ready for both girls.

Elizabeth has her name above her bed as well, so we did Amelia's the same way.

We're ready! Now we just need her to come home!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Countdown!

We made a paper chain to count down the days until we leave for China. We started with 17 links, and we are already down to 9!

The kids take turns tearing off one link each night and counting how many are left.
Our chain is definitely getting shorter! The suitcases are about half packed.
It won't be long now!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Sweet friends

I am so blessed with some wonderfully sweet friends. This past week they had a "Mom's Night Out" for me to celebrate Amelia's coming home.

We had a great time visiting and scrapbooking. We each made a couple of pages for a scrapbook of Amelia's first year home. I left with all the beautiful, creative pages in an album. All I have to do is add the pictures! How cool is that!

My friends had gifts for Amelia (and my big kids) too! Some new board books, clothes, a baby doll, even gum for the airplane ride. It was so thoughtful and appreciated!

These ladies are such a blessing to me and have encouraged me all through our adoption journey. I am so thankful for each one of them!

Travel dates

Our travel dates have been confirmed and our airplane tickets are purchased! These next couple of weeks are going to fly by, I'm sure! Here's roughly what our schedule will look like. We'll know more details in the next week or so.

June 2 - fly from Peoria to Chicago to Beijing
June 4 - agency orientation
June 5 - sight-seeing in Beijing
June 6 - fly to Wuhan
June 7 - AMELIA DAY!
June 10 - fly to Guangzhou
June 14 - consulate appointment
June 16 - fly home

We are so excited to go get our girl!

Saturday, May 7, 2011


What a great Mother's Day gift! I checked my e-mail last night before bed, totally not expecting to find anything adoption-related, when I saw the message from Holt that said, "Travel approvals have arrived!" That is the last thing we were waiting for. Now we will have our consulate appointment confirmed, and then we can buy our plane tickets. We are hoping to fly to Beijing on June 1st. Time to start packing!

On Easter Sunday, our daughter was sitting in "big church" with us, and she heard the pastor say that if anyone had a prayer request they could write it on a care card and turn it in and the staff would pray for that request during the week. She right away found the card in her bulletin, and wrote as carefully as she could in her 6-year-old handwriting: "for our travel approval to come." What a blessing to be able to tell her today that the Lord had answered her prayer!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Updated pictures of our girl!

Several weeks ago we requested some new pictures and new measurements of Amelia. I had just about given up on getting any before we leave, but today in my inbox were FIVE new pictures! Here is what the update says about her:

1. What are her current measurements?

Height: 82cm, Weight: 11kg, Head: 45cm, Chest: 49cm, Teeth number: 16, Feet Length: 13cm

2. How are her eating and sleeping habits?

She goes to bed at 20:00 and wakes up at 7:00. She has nap at 12:00. She has three meals with dish and rice per day. She drinks milk. She eats fruit and snacks. She likes noodle that was cooked with fish soup, tomato and vegetables.

3. May we have a developmental update?

She is active, cute and lovely. She can walk alone. She can call Mom. She will babble or sing with “a, a…” or “Ma, ma” for joy when she is happy. She gets along very well with her peers. She likes playing together with her peers.

4. Has she had any recent illnesses? If so, how were they treated?

She is health all the time. She catches cold occasionally and she will turn well after taking medicine.

And here are some of the new pictures we received!

We can't wait to get there and meet our girl in person!