Friday, May 30, 2008

ummm, we Interrupt this China adoption for a TAIWAN BABY! ****NEW UpDaTe BELOW!!***

Buckle up! Our friend Linda is ON HER WAY to Taiwan to bring home the most precious squeeze- his -cheeks little boy~! If my calculations are correct, she is in the air as I type. "Gotcha" day is June 2 Taiwan time (approx. 10:30 p.m. June 1 EST). Linda and her husband Bruce have waited YEARS for this moment.

When Linda and Bruce first began down the road of international adoption, they choose the China program. At that time, the wait was 5-7 months after receiving a log in date from the CCAA. As so many of us have sadly observed, the wait has now grown to years after submission of dossier to the CCAA. After waiting for a very long time in the China program, an opportunity to bring home RUDD from Taiwan became a reality in the middle of the China process.

So, long story short, Rudd will someday have a little sister from China, but in the mean time...... stay tuned for the journey of a lifetime for Linda and Bruce! I'll post a link as soon as I see their update from Taiwan ;) Congrats guys!

THEY HAVE ARRIVED! Follow their journey to Rudd HERE!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

a hint of things to come?

I guess I've learned over the years to attempt not to worry about things that haven't happened yet. Isn't it said that 98% of what we worry about will never come to pass? So, I figured one day at a time with any issues that would arise in conjunction with our daughter's adoption from China and the stupid things people might say in front of her. She is a very perceptive and inquisitive little girl and even at 3, doesn't miss much.

So, getting to the point here, our upstairs heat pump wasn't working and had to contact the repair man. He quickly diagnosed the problem, fixed it, and was standing in the foyer telling me what the problem was. Elizabeth was coloring at our dining room table right beside us as the repair man proceeded to tell me the relay switch had to be replaced. He then added, "all those parts are made in China and you know what kind of cr*p comes out of China."

Immediately, I looked over and E'beth had taken in every word. I walked over to her, scooped her up, carried her over to the repair man and politely said "Well, this is one of the most precious things I own, she was made in China, and they don't make them any better than this!" (all the while smothering her with kisses).

I know it was an innocent slip for him, and I'm not upset with him. Life is short, and I believe if I dwell on things like that and let it fester, it will make things much worse for E'beth to deal with. On the flip, if I can let it roll off my back then perhaps she will learn by example. If anything it's made me very aware of what might be down the road as far as comments go. It's my prayer that we can give both our children the self esteem, and worth that God created EACH of them in a unique and beautiful way. It sure would be a very boring world if we were all identical.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Memorial Service for Maria Chapman

Below is an article from People mag. about Maria's memorial service that took place today in Nashville. *A warning, you will cry.*


With laughter and tears, Grammy-winning Christian singer Steven Curtis Chapman and his family said goodbye Saturday to their 'cuddle bug,' daughter Maria Sue. The 5-year-old died three days earlier after being accidentally struck at their Franklin, Tenn., home by a reversing SUV driven by her brother.

In a two-hour memorial service at Christ Presbyterian Church in Nashville that drew more than 700 mourners, Maria was remembered for her love of drawing flowers, playing in the water, snuggling with her family – and doing dishes "buck naked." She "loved, loved, loved to be naked," laughed her mother, Mary Beth. Maria, the family's youngest, was one of three daughters adopted from China by the couple, who formed the charity Shaohannah's Hope ( to help other families wanting to adopt.

The couple, along with their three older biological children and their two other adopted daughters, Shaohannah, 8, and Stevey Joy, 5, were all barefoot during the service as a mark of reverence to ground made holy, they said, by the loss of Maria. Standing in front of the tiny white coffin covered with pink flowers, they took turns holding the young girls in their arms and embracing the son whose car hit Maria. Tears streamed down the 17-year-old's face and he wore Maria's pink security blanket around his neck throughout the service. In a letter Shaohannah had written to God and her lost sister that her father read aloud, she asked for prayers for her brother. "He has been sobbing," she wrote.

The family raised their arms as they sang songs of worship and sought comfort in their faith. "We had talked [with Maria] about what it meant to be with Jesus," Chapman said. "I had no idea how soon it was going to be, but we know she is in His amazing house, playing in the water."

Friday, May 23, 2008

School's out, Let Summer begin!

E'beth navigates, and John is the driver :)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

In Memory of Maria

Meet Maria, this precious child.

Maria Sue Chapman

-- From Tennessean -- Nashville TN --
Steven Curtis Chapman’s youngest child died Wednesday afternoon after being struck by a car driven by her teenage brother in the driveway of the family’s Williamson County home.

Maria, one of the Christian singer’s six children, was taken by LifeFlight to Vanderbilt Hospital, which confirmed the death, according to Laura McPherson, a spokeswoman for the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

The 5-year-old was hit by an SUV driven by her teenage brother, she said. Police did not give the driver’s name.
The teen was driving a Toyota Land Cruiser down the driveway of the rural home at about 5:30 p.m. and several children were playing in the area, McPherson said. He did not see Maria in the driveway before the vehicle struck her, she said.
“It appears to be a terrible accident,’’ McPherson said.
No charges are expected, she said. The accident was witnessed by two other children; the entire family was home at the time, McPherson said.

Singer/songwriter Chapman, who recently was inducted into Music City Walk of Fame, is one of contemporary Christian music’s most recognizable and most awarded names.

He and his wife Mary Beth have long been supporters of international adoption, having brought three girls from China into their family. Maria was the youngest.
The couple is so active in the cause that they formed an organization, Shaohannah’s Hope, to aid families wanting to adopt.

With his latest music tour, which came through Nashville in November, Chapman started a campaign called “Change for Orphans”. He asked audience members at each stop to bring spare change to the concert, where it was counted and given to a local family to aid in their adoption process.

“I don’t know of anybody who loves his children more than he does and is so committed to the adoption concept, and to lose one, no matter what the circumstances, is heartbreaking beyond all comprehension,” said John Styll, president of the Nashville-based Gospel Music Association.

“He talks about his kids all the time. That’s his life. His kids are more important to him than music, that’s for sure.”

The tragedy was announced during Wednesday-night services at Harpeth Hills Church of Christ, which the family attends. Maria had just graduated from the church preschool.

And word spread throughout the tight-knit Christian music community on Wednesday evening.

Styll got the news not long after Maria’s death.

“I’m confident I can speak for everyone in the community to say we will do everything we can to support this family, as we would do at any time, but especially at a time like this,” he said.

Most of the Chapman family was at Vanderbilt children’s hospital after the accident and could not be contacted. The long, gravel driveway leading to the home west of Franklin was blocked off by Williamson County sheriff’s deputies.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Sweet reminders

One of the things our family has enjoyed most about the items we brought home with us from China are the sweet little reminders that we can look at daily. This one, is hand embroidered purchased from 'A gift from China' in Guangzhou. It's a little boy and girl (note the girl clutching her PANDA :) and obviously it's in the winter. This hangs in Elizabeth's room and I wish I had gotten several more of different scenes.

What's funny about this one.. Where does it snow that deep and you also see palm trees? lol.

Monday, May 19, 2008

A Meme

One of my favorite new reads has tagged me for this fun Meme. Kim @ Sugar Pie Honey Bunch would have been on my list if she hadn't already tagged me first :).

Here it is:

Favorite person (outside family)? Billy Graham. It was through a Billy Graham Crusade in Richmond Va. years ago that my Dad came to know the Lord. Just after this, a couple invited my Dad to church the next day, and this is the day he met my Mom. My Dad passed up a very promising career in Professional Football (He was invited to play for the Chicago Bears, and Cleveland Browns football teams) to settle down, marry my Mom, and have my sister and I. A very UNselfish act on his part.

Favorite food? Healthy--Our homemade vegetarian pizza made with freshly ground whole wheat crust and baked on a stone. Non-healthy--umm, most all Indian food.

Quirks about you? I never sleep totally through the night.

How would the person who loves you most describe you in ten words or less? Well, my husband, children, and mom are all in bed and don't want to wake any of them to ask. If I wake them I might not want to post the answers ;)

Any regrets in life? I wish I hadn't been so selfish with my early married life and started a family sooner. I can't imagine my life without our children and wish we had more at this point.

Favorite Charity/ Cause? Make-a-Wish

Favorite Blog recently? Eric J Fox This is a blog about a young father of 2 small children diagnosed with ALS.

Something you can’t get enough of? Hugs from my 'babies'!

Worst job you’ve ever had? Nothing worse than cleaning up vomit. Sorry to be graphic, but you asked ;)

What job would you pay NOT to have? Cleaning up vomit.

If you could be a fly on the wall, where? In our Son's classroom at school.

Favorite Bible verse right now? The day my Dad passed away, I reached for my Bible he had given me on Christmas Day when I was 13. In the front, in his handwriting he had written Col. 2:3.

"In whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge".

I had actually never taken the time to look up that passage until then. I don't know why, but I just hadn't. I guess I took it for granted,,, until then. Through my tears, I read that simple verse. My Dad was passing the torch and that verse will remain in my heart forever. I know beyond any doubt, I will see my Dad again in Glory. I miss you so much now Dad.

Guilty Pleasure? Quiet computer time after all have gone to bed. ahhh.

If you HAD to spend $1,000 on YOURSELF, how would you spend it?
ummm, I dunno. Let me wish, err I mean think about it.

Favorite thing about your house? Our "outdoor room" complete with stone fireplace and waterfall we are just finishing after almost 2 years!

Least favorite thing about your house? How you have to take an extra step or so every time you load anything into the dishwasher!! A male without children designed the kitchen!

One thing you are bad at? Talking on the phone. I don't enjoy it. I would much rather e-mail.

One thing you’re good at? returning e-mails ;)

If you could change something about your circumstances, what? I would love for my husband to be home with us more (time together) and to be able to travel together. I would also love for my Mom to live down the street so our children could walk to Grandma's and I could spend more time with her (and help her).

Who would you like to meet someday? The woman that gave birth to our daughter Elizabeth in China.

Who is your real life hero?- on this Earth, my Husband. Corney I know, but true.

What is the hardest part of your job? Being a referee between brother and sister fusses. It's often those split second decisions that are shaping their hearts, and it's so very hard to know what is the "right" way to 'correct'. - One day at a time..

When are you most relaxed? Out of town away from the phone, daily responsibilities, etc..

What stresses you out? Time crunches with the children needing to be somewhere and we are running late, then if E'beth has a meltdown just as we NEED to be out the door...

What can you not live without? Christ's forgiveness and the promise of John 3:16.

Why do you blog? It's much easier than a scrapbook and I'm terrible about Christmas newsletters. I love to get them, but haven't sent one out since we returned from China. This way many of our family members and friends can keep up if they choose to do so and I don't have to write a Christmas newsletter ever again ;)

Who Am I Tagging? - I figured if you have time to read this, then YOU would have time to do this... so if you got this far... YOU are tagged!

Tootles! ~Susan.

New/Newer bloggers-Don't think these folks are exactly 'new at blogging' but I fairly recently found them. They were some of our wonderful travelmates from our China trip in 05. Janelle @ Wise Tales and Patricia @ Hip Hip Hubei!

Bloggy friends- Michael @ Bringing Mikayla Home (He's a Dad blogger waiting OH so patiently :) for his referral. He will be such a great Dad.Lisa @ Loos Clan, Angie @ My Heart's giving Birth, and Shelley @ Wild Noodles

Bloggers you’d like to get to know better- Erin @ To Libby with Love , 2 China 4 Alya. and Denise @ Journey to Maggie Mae

Bloggers who you don't think will respond, but you hope will-

1. Answer the questions
2. Link back to whoever tagged you
3. Tag eight bloggers to do the same, 2 from each category.
New/ newer bloggers (since we want to share the love and send them traffic)
Bloggy friends
Bloggers you’d like to get to know better
Bloggers you don’t think will respond, but you hope will

Friday, May 16, 2008

Utter Devastation

Our Elizabeth is from Hubei China which is a neighboring Province to the earthquake ravaged Sichuan Province. Each day the devistation and death toll climbs higher and higher. As images emerge from this region of the world it is clear to say this event is catestrophic may be an understatement.

Seeing the pictures of parents grieving over the body of their only child, children that now face life without parents, a childs limbs amputated on the spot in order to save their life and drag them out of the rubble are etched in my mind and it is impossible to imagine the hardships these people are enduring as I type.

If you haven't seen the degree of destruction you can go HERE.

Please consider helping.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Sneak a peek at the Bride!

Click here.
Images coming soon from the wedding of the decade :)
Jenna Bush... move over! lol.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

.our NEW Home

On the internet that is :) I love our 'remodel' and a thank you to Danielle for helping us with the construction!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Thank you Heavenly Father for entrusting me to be the Mother of our two precious children.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The referral of babies

I LOVE to read about families getting the referral of their new baby and to this day I follow quite a few families that have been in line for a referral from China for a very long time. It brings back memories of our own referral day. We were in New Jersey in an area at the shore that didn't have internet service. We had our computer,,, but it didn't do one bit of good. We were desperate and hid in the bushes of an upscale neighborhood in an attempt to pick up a signal. It worked, and we finally found our 'hot spot' that we could camp at long enough to get the necessary information.

Once we saw Elizabeth's sweet face and smile there truly was a hugh sense of relief that this would really be happening, she was ours, she was beautiful, and most importantly we received the incredible confirmation and peace that God was in total control of the child we were to have. We were headed to China!

If you are in the process, or want to re-live those feelings of the first days after your referral, click HERE. This couple has waited a very long time to be parents, and now, they are. Be sure to click on the video link of the new Mamma showing off the picture! They will be leaving sometime this summer to travel to China and I can't wait to follow them.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


You know, this comment was made by the pastor at the wedding.. here ya go ;)

"On her wedding day when a bride first starts down the ISLE, the thing she notices right away is the ALTER. Next, her eye goes straight to the groom and stays there... from that moment on, she thinks... ISLE, ALTER, YOU".

Now keep in mind that wasn't from me.. ha. But actually, its something to think about. Not sure what denomination that pastor was, so I'm kinda takin' it with a grain.. (grin)..

Happy Day Shelley and David! May you have many many more happy years ahead.

Monday, May 5, 2008

.not your usual turbulence

We just returned from a wedding in the Santa Barbara California area and will post pictures soon of some of the incredible things the bride planned. It was truly one of the most beautiful events I've ever attended.

On our flight out, about 1/3 of the way into the 4.5 hour flight we hit some very unexpected turbulence. This was not your "bumpy now fasten seat belt" kind of turbulence, but more of a violent and jolting event. It came on suddenly just after I took Elizabeth out of her seat belt (the sign was off) for the beverage that had just been delivered. She couldn't wait to get her hands on that little bag of pretzels and have her own orange juice cup! She had her seat back tray down and the cup of OJ on it. She was on her knees ready to dive into the goodies, and then it hit.

She flew up and landed face down on the tray- soaked with orange juice and crying. I was attempting to keep my hot coffee from spilling on her (and myself) Dave and John were drenched with a coke that flew up and hit the ceiling belonging to the man seated next to them. I was unable to coordinate the buckle of E'beths seat belt to even fasten it. All I could do was get my hot coffee into my Mom's hands and put my arms around her to keep her from being tossed out of her seat.

Dave and I have flown quite a bit and this was the most 'uncontrolled' event we can ever remember. It lasted only a few minutes, and when the pilot came on the intercom, he appeared to be shaken. He explained they had no warning??!! (I thought you knew many miles in advance so as to circumvent turbulance) but what do I know about flying an aircraft!? At one point, the plane took such a dive, there were screams from some of the passengers. It seemed like many couldn't believe what was actually happening.

Nothing like a mid air dive to re-set priorities and ask yourself if you are ready to meet your maker!

The flight attendants used up all the paper towels in an attempt to 'dry' the passengers and clean up the mess and the rest of the flight was great. E'beth did amazingly well on the flight (except for the orange juice shampoo) and the decent due to her ears. A few pieces of gum and reminders to swallow did the trick for the most part and we were very happy on her progress with regards to air travel ;)

To be continued...