Life After Bigger Dirt

Life After Bigger Dirt

Friday, December 30, 2011

Upcoming Events

We had our final travel conference call yesterday, bought princess bedding and little bitty socks....I think we are ready for a plane ride. Corbin says it will take about 45 minutes to get there. I love him!!!

Brief Itinerary:
Today was Brian's last day of work until JANUARY 30th!!! I'm so excited! Grandma cooked gumbo, Allison made brownies, I thawed the red velvet cake gifted to us by Carter Benton, and cooked some Japanese rice to go with it(:  ONLY in Louisiana. Celebrate tonight and then complete all continuing ed. for nursing license just in case I ever want to escape back to labor and delivery. It's due Jan. 1st. I've only had a year to complete it. Kinda been busy...

Tomorrow Allison thinks she needs to visit the Warrens and their beautiful babies just home from China. Onto the Fowlkes for more gumbo and fellowship with great friends.

Sunday...We will give thanks for this amazing year and ask Pastor for a prayer covering for the next couple weeks as we travel.

Monday & Tuesday...SERIOUS packing and preparation going on.

Wednesday...Is William's day!!! I miss him already.  Drop puppies off to be boarded.  Load the van of ALL suitcases.  Church and then to Pop's to spend the night with William.

Thursday...6AM we board a plane to CHINA! waahooooo!

1/6...Arrive in Beijing
1/7...Tour the Great Wall
1/8...Fly to Zhengzhou - this is the capitol of Henan (where the babies are from).
1/9...GOTCHA DAY!  We get both babies!  Praise God!
1/10...Finalize Chinese side of adoptions.
1/11-12...Free time/rest = shopping.
1/13...Receive passports and fly to Guangzhou (where the U.S. consulate is).
1/14...The baby's visas and physicals are done.
1/15...Free day = shopping.  Can you say squeaker shoes?
1/16...TB test for Adaline.
1/17-18...Free day
1/19...Consulate appointment.  In the afternoon we will return to the U.S. Consulate to take our oath.  Officially Adaline & Wen's parents!!
1/20...Receive their passports.
1/21...Take the train to Hong Kong, yay Corbin!!
1/22...Find something cool to do in Hong Kong.
1/23...Fly home to our William!  Family of seven!

Their beds are made. This Mama is ready to get on a plane already. Thank you for praying and thinking of us. We are getting crazy excited!!!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Celebrating Many Blessings

I love this little boy more than he loves opening presents or trains...thats a lot!!!

They think they are too cool for pics. That's why I usually only post pics of the boys. This is Allison and Bri waiting for the dirty santa game to begin. They are with the adults now, oh my! Adaline will be in between them next year eeeeekkkkk....
Both sitting and looking at the camera...priceless!!! Can't wait for Wen to be sitting with them!
Chipy had Allison's Beats in the lights...
P.S. the present opening pics will not upload thanks to blogger

So, we leave in EIGHT days!!! Can't hardly believe it is happening. We have our final travel conference call tomorrow. Corbin has already packed his bag and can't understand why we didn't leave yesterday. Christmas decorations are packed and the suitcases will be opened in the foyer today. LET THE PACKING BEGIN! Brian's last day at work is Friday. eeeeekkkk...He will be with us till the 30th of January and he will probably be GLAD to return to his patients. Don't get me wrong I love him being home. But, we are use to him being in clinic and me being in charge at home. Dynamics are just established and four weeks of God blessed chaos will be enough!!! 8 days till we get on the plane, 11 days till we hold Adaline and Wen in our arms, 26 days till we are HOME as a family of seven. Thank you Jesus for this amazing journey! Please prepare Wen and Adaline's hearts and protect William while we are gone! And, help Grandma stay sane while her babies are gone, and help Mimi and Papa with William maybe their sanity too. thank you thank you and I love you! Amen

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Travel Approvals x2

Yes you read it right!!! We got our travel approvals this afternoon. We are waiting on word of when we travel. Our agency is requesting our appointments for as soon as possible. The Chinese New Year is from Jan. 22-28. This means we cannot be in China during this time. All government offices are closed during this time period. Our options for travel are leaving Jan. 4th and returning home Jan 19-21st or leaving Jan. 25-27 and returning home Feb. 8-10th. Of course "we" want the sooner dates. His timing is perfect!!! I wanted our TAs to arrive last week. I wanted to be in China for Christmas. This week has been really tough. After getting our TAs and calming down a little I realized there were several obvious reasons why God was making us wait a little longer. Wen shares his foster home with a sweet little guy that will be coming home the same day Wen is. His Mama and I have been emailing since right after we were matched. She was six or seven days behind me in her paperwork timeline. After much prayer, she got her travel approval today too(: There is another Melissa Smith in this world too ( I know scary right). She happens to be using the same agency as us, and has a baby girl in the same orphanage as our Adaline. COOL HUH??? She has been several days behind us in her adoption paperwork guess who got her travel approval today too??? Yep, ALL THREE FAMILIES are traveling together! Praise God! One more God thing...Papa needed a small procedure done before the new year was up. Today was his day because last week when Dr. Smith was scheduled to do it Papa had not withheld his meds for enough days. So, it had to be rescheduled. If we had plane tickets for China, Papa would not have gotten this done till after we returned and it would have been expensive. AND Papa got a clean bill of health per Dr. Smith (run on sentences don't count when excited) !!! Praise God some more!
AND we get to be with our William Cole for Christmas. Thank you all so much for praying for us. We will let you know as soon as we get our travel dates. We are going to CHINA!!! Not much longer Adaline and Wen....

Almost Home

This little guy has no idea so many people are praying and begging God to help us bring him home. He doesn't have an understanding of the preparations being made for his arrival.  The bed that is already made or the clothes hanging in his closet. Tonight I pray God please prepare his heart for our arrival.  Comfort Wen as he is taken from all he has ever known. Please give him a peace during his first few weeks with us while he learns and grows to love us. I also pray for his Nanny that she will know he is loved and she will feel comforted by you as she grieves Wen's absence.  I praise you and worship you Lord. In your name, Amen

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Samuel WenHao Smith

Tonight I came across a new picture of our Wen dated 12/5. He is so precious. I love his chubby cheeks. He is totally a Smith. He appears to have layers of clothes and two bibs on. Lol...He won't know what to do with a T-shirt and flip flops on. Mama will teach him hehe.

Months ago we were trying to decide on a name, I came across the story of Hannah crying out to God for a child. While we have three children already, I was still crying out to God. There was/is no doubt in my mind that our quiver was not full. As soon as we got our referral his name was settled. I'm not even sure about who said Wen. I wanted Samuel in there somewhere. So here is a precious pic of our baby of the family Samuel WenHao Smith....

"I prayed for this child, and God gave me what I asked for." 1 Samuel 1:27 MSG

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Wait

I can't even describe the intensity of the wait. We know that other people are getting their TRAVEL APPROVALS on day nine or ten. We are currently on day eleven. This could possibly take a month (not that I am speaking this into existence). I actually rebuke the thought of waiting another week. This is how our day is going. Wake up...please Lord, check email, eat not so healthy breakfast, check email (yes I have email on my phone), put clothes in dryer, check email, write out fractions for Allie to practice, check email, eat animal crackers with Corbin that I don't even like, oh check email again, text other Melissa Smith (yes there are two of us, with same agency, girls in same orphanage, timelines essentially the same, we must travel together), naptime....that's as far as we have made it....

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Be Still My Heart

When I thought, how can we possibly wait three weeks or longer for Travel Approval...this sweet face appeared in my inbox. She is why the wait hurts. Mr. Wen is so well cared for and loved. Don't get me wrong for a second, I CAN'T WAIT to hold him in my arms. BUT, Miss Adaline is a number there and I want to hold her and help her know how special she is. When you live in a place with 600 or 700 other children, it's hard to feel special. I love her so very much from half way around the world. Not much longer sweet baby girl:)

**Special thanks to a precious Mom who took time to take her picture and pray for her. I can never thank you enough**

Monday, December 5, 2011

Goodbye Packages

I ordered these two packages for our China babies. I used Ann with She is awesome and super sweet! The red bags are for anything they "might" be allowed to take with them. In their letters I asked for their measurements. I thanked them for caring for our babies and told them we were excited. I also told them we would be there in four to six weeks....OH MY! I can't tell you how excited I am to get on the plane. Please pray with us for God's timing and for me to understand it hehe...I would leave tomorrow if they would allow it. Not too much longer. Allison has pulled out the Asian Cabbage patch doll for Adaline (thanks Grandma) and lots of cute bibs for Wen. He has a bib on in every pic, even his sleeping pics. As soon as we get measurements, their clothes go in the suitcase to share with Corbin.

Come on Travel Approval!

Friday, December 2, 2011

The Holiday Express

When our big boy had his second Christmas he was one and a half years old. Daddy and Mama thought lets buy a wooden train set. Little did we know that by his fifth Christmas he would be obsessed IN LOVE with trains. He doesn't care what kind shape or color. From Thomas to the $2 ones from Target to the Holiday Express,  he loves them all. He actually prays for his trains at night time. Trying to teach him to not be focused on material things is hard at four. He thinks they are real and they all have a story. The Holiday Express happened to stop near our home. We waited for three hours in the cold to get on it. He never complained one second. He jumped up and down each time we moved closer. He told EVERYONE "we are almost there". I wish I could have bottled his excitement!!! Never will I forget the look on his face when the "little man" (full sized man in an elf costume) held his hand while he stepped aboard. *The Kansas City Southern Charitable Fund is an organization that helps children in need during the holiday season. Thank you so much for the Holiday Express*