Thursday, September 30, 2010


We have been chosen by Hip Mom Jewelry to be one of her fundraising families for October.  The fundraiser for our family runs from October 1st through October 31st for items that are purchased from the Adoption tab on her blog.  You will need to use our family code of Metier010 when you check out.

I do have a favorite in the Hip Mom line up.  This is it, the Infinite Circle.  I don't personally own one but I have bought one for a special mom as a gift.  I have to say it is a very beautiful piece of jewelry that any mom would be happy to wear next to her heart.  If there is a special mom in your life or if you yourself want to wear your children close to your heart I highly recommend this piece.  Maybe next year I will be able to order one with my birthday money, this year Sophia will be my gift!

Please hope on over to Hip Mom Jewelry and take a look at all she has available and help us bring our baby girl home.  She has some beautiful pieces that represent adoption, Africa, China, and some that aren't adoption related but reflect our hearts.  We are so grateful to Hip Mom Jewlry for choosing us as a fundraising family and for all she is doing to help children join their forever families.

Monday, September 27, 2010


Right now retailers are not my friend.  Why is that they only keep in stock the expensive models?  The ones that you can't afford when your dishwasher bites the dust and starts leaking on your floor.

Our dishwasher has bit the dust, granted it is 11 years old so I'm sure it has out lived a dishwashers life expectancy.  It just had to die at a very rough time to shell out money on a new dishwasher.  I had dreams of one day buying some higher end appliances to help with resale of our house, but that was planned for a few years down the road, not right in the middle of working out the funds to bring Sophia home.  So we headed out Saturday after soccer to find a dishwasher.  We found one that is not an upgrade by any means but it will wash dishes and that is most important.  We were really needing one this weekend because of the hours that daddy works during the week.  We were praying it would be in stock but lo and behold the only ones in stock are those that run in the $700+ range.  So we had to order the $350 dishwasher, in the mean time daddy pulled the old one out and disconnected everything so as soon as the new one gets here he can install it.  Unfortunately, the drain connection for the dishwasher is uncovered and it decides on occasion to spew water underneath the cabinet.  So washing dishes leads to pulling everything out of the cabinet to mop up the water.

Regardless of all of this I am thankful we realized the issue with our dishwasher as soon as we did.  When it was pulled out we saw that it had started to leak water underneath it.  Who knows how long until it would have started to travel underneath the kitchen floor. 

Now for some wonderful weekend news.  E played soccer!!!!  He actually played in the game.  We were so proud of him and he had a really good time.  When he decides to do it he is a great little soccer player.  M decided to be the photo journalist for the game.  She had a great time snapping photos.  Each of the kids wanted to take a picture with the mom.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Yesterday the kiddos and I hung around the house waiting on service people to take care of some odds and ends.  Had planned on going to work in the afternoon but things took longer than anticipated.  Unfortunately, it looks like we need a new dishwasher, it is 11 years old so probable not surprising that it has bitten the dust but not a good time to need to make the purchase and it is not something we can be without with daddy holding down the fort while I'm in China with the very long work days he has.

We were invited by a friend to attend her Chinese Chrisitan Churches Mid Autumn Moon celebration.  We are so happy we were invited and the kids couldn't wait to leave.  Immediately after naps they were asking if it was time to leave.  We had such a great time and the food was wonderful.  M ate until her stomach hurt and E had a great time playing with the kids.  They were so welcoming to our family and it was fun to listen to them sing worship songs in Chinese.  There was a little girl there that reminded me of Sophia, she was 11 months old and it really made me miss my little Sophia all the more.  Of course, the one time I remember my camera the battery is dead.  Can't wait for their Spring celebration.

Friday, September 24, 2010

We've been CABLED!!!!

Another small step complete today.  I had given up hope of being dropped off  at the Guangzhou Consulate on Monday for our Article 5.  There are so many new steps to the China adoption process, some of them I don't even understand.

So this is what we have been up to since our LOA on August 26th.  We sent our I800 application to USCIS on August 27th, they will review Sophia's file and deem that she qualifies as an orphan according to the Hague Treaty.  It arrived in Texas on August 30th and the approval was granted on September 15th.  From there our approval was sent from what is called the National Benefit Center (USCIS) to the National Visa Center (Dept. of State), it was entered into their system and we were given a GUZ number and then our information was cabled on September 24th (today) to the Guangzhou Consulate.  Luckily we received a PDF copy of our approval and we have forwarded it to our China Coordinator.  The facilitator in China should be dropping it off at the Consulate on Monday, they only allow drop offs or pick ups from agencies two days a week, Monday and Thursday.

I truely do not understand all of these new steps, personally it seems like a lot of people touching the same file over and over again.  I am all about one touch handling but our gov't hasn't asked my how to simplify it so I will keep my suggestions to myself!  I had given up hope of being dropped off on Monday last night when I was told that we hadn't been scheduled for cabling yet.  I don't think in the grand scheme of things that it will make that much of a difference because of Columbus Day but it at least makes me feel like we are moving.  I am predicting our TA about the end of October and travel mid to late November.

We are getting closer Sophia!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

All About Him

All about Him

When it's all about Him and not about me- I can live on little and give much.

When it's all about Him and not about me- I can adopt many and love more.

When it's all about Him and not about me- I can care less about pleasing others and care much about pleasing Him.

When it's all about Him and not about me- I can love without expecting to be loved back.

When it's all about Him and not about me- I can open my home and my heart regardless of our differences.

When it's all about Him and not about me- I can let go of my plans- knowing His are always better.

When it's all about Him and not about me- I care less about how my hair looks and care lots about how my heart looks.

When it's all about Him and not about me- I can have peace during the unknowns- trusting He does know.

When it's all about Him and not about me- I worry less about the risk and more about just surrendering.

When it's all about Him and not about me- I allow myself to be vulnerable, knowing my experiences can help someone else.

When it's all about Him and not about me- I can be content in my circumstances knowing He allowed them to be.

When it's all about Him and not about me- I can be assured success- regardless of the outcome.

He must become greater; I must become less. John 3:30

Isn't this just wonderful.  Something to really think about.  I have borrowed this (with permission) from another blog.  Check out Building the Blocks, it will move you and make you think about things.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Final night to order a Pure Religion tee

This is it, your final night to order a Pure Religion shirt and help us get baby Sophia home. Order will be placed with the printer tomorrow. Check them out at Bringing Sophia Home. Please feel free to share the word with your friends and family.  We appreciate all of the help and support we received in bringing our baby girl home.

Friday, September 17, 2010

The last weekend of the tee pre-sale

Time is running out to order your Pure Religion tee.  We are a long way from our goal of 50 tees, we would really appreciate your support!  You can place your order at Bringing Sophia Home.

We will be taking off bright and early tomorrow for soccer and then immediately leave for a family reunion.  It is really a very busy weekend, as most of them have been lately.  I am preparing maternity, baby, and childrens items for a consignment sale, it's amazing, I have 20 maternity items for the sale and I've never been pregnant.  I really appreciate everyone who has donated items to us for the yard sale and such, without your support we wouldn't be able to raise the needed funds to bring our little one home.  The last drop off day is Sunday afternoon so I had better get busy tonight!  If all goes well we might be able to make another couple hundred for the Sophia fund.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Our I800 has been approved

I received an email today from our NBC Officer stating he approved our I800 application yesterday and has sent off the notification to the National Visa Center.  Once it is entered into their system which seems to be taking one to two weeks then we will be about to submit for our Article 5.  There are so many new steps to the this process and I honestly do not know what they all mean but I am so glad when one more gets checked off the list!

Now we can skip our way into Costco and then get the kids some much needed haircuts.  Maybe we will have to stop by our favorite Chinese restaurant to pick up some take out on the way home.

We are getting closer to our baby girl.  We love you so very much Sophia!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I800 is on our officers desk

I called today and found out that our I800 was given to our officer today.  Praying for his stamp of approval by the end of the week.  If all goes well I think we will be traveling very late November to early December.  I just want out little cherub home for Christmas.

Four more days left on the t-shirt sale.  If you are wanting to order one please let me know.

Getting started on the next fundraiser auction.  Hope to have items rounded up and ready to go by the first part of October.  If you would like to contribute an item or two to the auction send me a message at  I estimate we have a little over two months to raise the remaining $5700, while two months sounds like a long time when waiting for our little girl it really isn't very long when trying to raise such a large amount.  We know that this isn't really such a big amount in God's economy and we know He will provide.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

One meal down...

Tonight began the stocking of food for my dear sweet husband and children when momma is in China and unable to thrown dinner together.  My goal is to have at least 10 meals in the freezer before I head on a plane to my baby girl.  I figure if I get a minimum of one a week put away I will easily make my goal.  Daddy works such long days and my sister will be putting in extra duty helping out with the kids.  I want to make dinner easy for all with them pulling out a bag or pan that just needs heated.

Tonight was suppose to be my very first home group but Mr. E is under the weather again.  I was so looking forward to the beginning of the "Rooted in Good Soil" study that our entire church is doing, oh well there is always next week.  I got a call as I was getting in my car from E's teacher that he was feeling a little hot, had a headache and just wanted to nap.  Sure enough, when I got there he was running a low grade temp and wasn't feeling well.  We have had a quiet night tonight and we will see how he feels tomorrow.  Nasty viruses going around right now, I need to look into getting us all our flu shots.

Praying our I800 gets approved this week, hoping that we can submit for our Article 5 before China's October holiday.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Weekend update

The yard sale ended on Saturday afternoon with us earning $700 to help bring Sophia home.  We are so grateful to all that donated goods, time, energy, support, etc to help us with this monsterous sale.  Without all of you we would not have been able to do this.  We had a great time getting to know new people and spending time with family.  The kids had a blast playing with their cousins and playing in the yard sale treasures.  I think they are going to be very bored in our garage after all the fun they have had this summer.  At the end of the day we packed everything up and moved it to the next house.  A friend is having a yard sale next week and this was the seed she needed to get started.  May her sale be as big a blessing as ours was!

We snuck away during the yard sale and headed to E's first soccer game.  They had a scheduling error and scheduled the 4's and 5's for a 12:30 game.  E did great during the first 30 minutes which is their practice and then during the actual game he melted.  Each time he was in the game he sat down and cried.  I felt so bad for the poor girls and the one little guy that had to play the majority of the game.  We had one kiddo out sick and then E melted down so it left us with 3 kids to play the majority of the game.  I pray E will have a better week next week when he is playing at 9:30.

We went to church on Sunday and then spent the evening with my husbands family.  We had a great time eating some wonderful pulled pork tacos, grilled asparagus and such.  The kids had an absolute blast playing with their cousin S.  They were begging not to go home but they were both asleep in the car within minutes.  We got home and all headed to bed but we were all feeling a little blah.  During the night we have all had some sort of a stomach illness or a cold pop up.  I started with the stomach and now I feel like I am getting an upper respiratory illness.  I hope not, way too much to do.

We have less than a week left for the t-shirt presale.  Please take a look at them at Bringing Sophia Home.  We appreciate all your support!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Yard Sale day 1

Let me tell ya, I am exhausted and I am sure my mom and my sisters are too.  I tried to get home from work early yesterday but I didn't get out too early, only about an hour.  I got the kids picked up from preschool and got home to start sorting the huge pile in the center of the garage.  I was completely overwhelmed but then my dad arrived and started to help us get things sorted.  By the time my mom and sisters arrived we had everything sorted and we were ready to start getting things displayed.  We didn't work too late into the night, we were inside by 10pm.

Morning came way too early and we were outside continuing to set things up at 7am with our first person stopping by at 7:20.  It was a slower day than our last Friday yardsale and the sales were down too but we sure did sell a lot of smaller odds and ends.  We sold a lot of items for under $1 and still managed to sell about $350 worth.  We still have our big ticket items and I pray they will be hot items tomorrow.

This sell was a lot different than our first one.  The first one we had a lot of big items and for this one we have just a few big items but a ton of smaller items.  My mom brought up a good point, it takes 400 hundred quarter items to make $100 so we had to have moved a lot of our treasures today.  I owe so much thanks to my parents and my sisters and their spouses.  They have all shown up for both of our yard sales and put a lot of work into them.  Our little Sophia is loved so much by them and we so appreciate their love and support.  Fundraising is hard work and they are always willing to roll up their sleeves and help us out.  It sure makes me feel special to have them rallying beside us.

Please keep us in your prayers that we will get the majority of our treasures sold tomorrow. 

We have a little over a week left of our t-shirt fundraiser.  Please check it out at Bringing Sophia Home, we appreciate your help in bringing our precious girl home!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Families raising funds

I follow a great deal of blogs regularly.  You could say that I have a blog addiction and need a 12 step program!

I would like to spot light a couple of the families that are fundraising to bring their children home.  Please check out their fundraisers.

More Kids 4 Me, Anne has become such an inspiration to me and close friend.  It will not likely be possible that we travel at the same time which I am quite sad about but I can't wait to see Ellie in her arms.

One More Ladybug, Connie is another inspiration, they have stepped up to God's calling big time.  I believe they are working on bringing home baby number 9 right now.  I love big families and I have a special place in my heart for big families formed through adoption.

Purpose Driven Family,  Holly and family have been doing many different fundraisers to bring little Elliana home.  They just finished up a big auction fundraiser and are still doing their puzzle fundraiser and other things.  Check them out.

Because We Are Led,  they have several fundraisers going on to bring home Michael.  They have some fantastic shirts, totes, coffee and other things going on.

Red Thread Stitches, Robin and family have quite a few things going on to bring Liliana home.  She is having a skirt sale and selling Show Hope shirts.  This is one amazing momma, I love chatting with her on email and watching her heart for her girls on her blog.

Keep watching as I share more families that have caused me to need an intervention (just kidding!).

Giveaway at Blessed Impatience

My sweet friend Addie is doing a giveaway at Blessed Impatience.  You really need to check it out.  Addie is such a sweetie.  She really shares her heart on her blog, she puts it all out there.  Doing that makes you so vulnerable and she does it anyway.  I love reading about her journey to her son waiting in HK and her beautiful children at home.  Check her out, you will enjoy following her!

Monday, September 6, 2010

The truth

This post has been something I have contemplated for many months as I have cried my way through many moments in this adoption journey.  I am going to share my whole heart, all of it is going to be out in the open.  Should you not agree with me please have kindness in your heart to keep it there.

Adoption is a very emotional journey for so many reasons.  For one you are "pregnant", it may be paper pregnant but you are expecting, however you have no tangible evidence, no one can see your baby bump and ask you how you are feeling.  In fact you may feel that no one wants to hear about your "pregnancy".  Expecting through adoption can be a very lonely place to be.  Just like in pregnancy you gravitate to people who have or are experiencing what you have gone through.  Unfortunately, in adoption there are a lot less people who have been where you are in your immediate proximity.  You have less people to share your journey with, less people who are happy with you, less people who want to hear about it.  Do these things keep us from adopting?  No!

Adoption is costly.  When you give birth to a child and you have insurance your insurance usually pays a portion of the birth.  When you adopt internationally, even after any tax credits, you are still paying more than what a no complications birth would have cost in cash.  Should we let the cost of an adoption leave children as orphans?  In our house we say NO!  We feel blessed to have been chosen by God to form our family through adoption.

Families formed through adoption are treated different than families that give birth.  Unfortunately, that is just the way it is.  When you come home with a toddler or even a new born that joined your family through adoption you are overwhelmed, tired, emotional, stressed, recovering from jet lag, dealing with a child that may not have ever seen a Caucasian person before joining your family nor heard English before, dealing with a child that may be on emotional overload and may be grieving.  Do people show up with food and offer to help out?  Not usually.  Instead when times are tough and you are beyond frazzled you hear things like "you are the ones that chose to do this".  Again, adoption can be a lonely place.

You arrive home with your precious child and begin many rounds of doctors appointments, surgeries, therapies and the list goes on.  With M we came home and didn't find out about her medical condition until she was 2 years old, she was adopted at 9 months.  She had a bit of time to learn to trust us and get adjusted to her new life in a family.  With E we knew of his medical condition at the time of his referral and he had his first surgery 2 1/2 months after joining our family.  He came home at 2 1/2 years old and has many long lasting issues that come from living in an institution for so long.  Sophia's medical condition has many unknowns, we know that she will need an MRI shortly after coming home so we know what is going on.  With all of these processes and procedures you are tired, your child is trying to trust you and you can be just plain worn out.  Do you give up and say it is too hard?  Nope!

I write of these things not because I am not happy adopting, it is quite the opposite.  I don't think I could have been given a greater gift by God than the gift to love a child born not from by body but in my heart.  I know that there are many people out there that can not do it for whatever reason.  Growing our family through adoption requires many sacrifices by our family.  We have not taken a "vacation" almost EVER.  We took a trip to Lake Tahoe for our first anniversary and that was nearly 17 years ago.  Vacations for this family is a weekend camping trip or a trip to Nana and Papa's.  Our kids have not seen Yellowstone, Disneyland, Disney World, Six Flags or any other fun kids place.  We have not taken a cruise, been to Hawaii, Mexico or any other exotic place besides a trip to China together when we adopted M.  Now daddy stays home while I travel to pick our kids up.

When we adopted M daddy had a pickup that was very dear to his heart and Ol' Blue was sold to help us with the remaining travel money needed to pick up M.  Daddy sacrificed his treasure to bring home a much greater treasure.  Since then we have not had anything really of value to sell.  For E's adoption we did have a bonus that helped us get started but after getting our dossier to China everything went a lot quicker than planned so we had to take out a loan for E's adoption that we are still paying on today.  Not only did thing go quicker but the economy started to fall.  Barely a year after getting home with E we started the journey to Ginger which later turned into the journey to Sophia.  Again we had a bonus to get us started but nothing after.  In fact it has been a really really hard year financially.  The down economy has really affected things where we live.  Instead of giving up because it was "too hard" "cost too much" etc. we continued on.  Would it have been easier to quit before seeing our little Sophia's face, you betcha!  Ginger had been matched with a family and we were left to wait and SEE what God had planned for us when he gave us the love of Ginger.  We continued on because we know that He gave us the love of Ginger so that we would be ready for Sophia.

 So here we are, about three months from me leaving for China to pick up our baby girl.  We still need to raise about $6500 to bring our baby home and our possessions are being evaluated.  I have never been a person that wished that I had a collection of high dollar items until now.  I wish I had a collection of fancy name purses to sell that many would love to get their hands on.  In all reality I don't have fancy anything.  I am a fairly simple person, pretty much always out of style, and I'm ok with that other than I wish I had more to sell.  I will be scouring my house for all things that may be of interest to another that will get us another step closer to Sophia.  What few "treasures" I have are up for sale in order to bring our precious girl home.  When telling someone what we had left to raise rather than words of encouragement I heard "Good luck with that".  I can tell you that I have shed many tears because of comments like that.  There is nothing more humbling in the world than having to fundraise to bring a child home.  To have the desire to take a child out of an orphanage and not be able to write a check to make it happen.  I truly feel that the Lord has called us to adopt at this very time in order for us to bring others along in our journey.  By opening this journey up to others we also open ourselves up to a lot of heartache.  There is nothing that hurts more than knowing that your family and friends do not support your adoption or your fundraising.  I have cried myself to sleep on more than one occasion and know that I will have many more tears to come until Sophia is placed in my arms and I will then have tears of joy.

I tell you all of this so you may understand the emotions that we as adoptive parents go through.  You add in the dynamic of a fundraising family and the emotions can be multiplied.  I have met so many wonderful people through the adoption community that have helped me through the tough times.  To them I say thank you!  Thank you for the words of encouragement, for telling me that you have been there and I am not crazy, for sharing your heart with me and for being such wonderful friends.  For our family that has been rallying behind us in this journey we love you with all our hearts, we couldn't do this without you.  We appreciate all your contributions to our journey, we thank you for spending your days working your heart out at yard sales, for listening to me cry, for putting your life on hold to help care for our child either in the US or in China.  We love you and really couldn't do it without you.

If you are an adopting family that needs a shoulder or a friend please let us know.  We have been there and want to be there for you.

When my spirit faints within me, you know my way!  Psalm 142:3

Bringing Sophia Home tees

Check out the tees, we hope you love them as much as we do.

Thanks for helping us Bring Sophia Home!

Fasting for Orphans

Linny at A Place Called Simplicity has asked for us to join together and fast for her dear friends James and Cherami who have been in a very long journey to bring their precious treasures home from Africa.  She has opened up this fast to so many families who are in the process of making children around the world orphans no more.  These families are in the midst of varying struggles to bring their precious children home; for some bureacrocy is in the way, for others financial hardship or challenges are causing issue, check out the links on Linny's post to see where each family is at.  They could all use your prayer and your fast.  When we bond together our Lord can move so many mountains.

We hope to have our precious Sophia home by Christmas.  On average it seems to take about three months from LOA to travel so that would put me leaving for China at the end of November give or take a week or two.  We have had some financial struggles this summer, we needed to fundraise before the summer but due to our summer struggles we REALLY need to fundraise.  We have had to make some hard choices for our family that means that my husband and kids will be staying home while I travel to China for baby sissy.  I ask that you lift us in prayer that my kids do ok being seperated from me.  My sister is moving to the same town we live in at the end of the month and will be taking care of the kids while daddy is at work.  During our last seperation M didn't do so well and E hasn't been away from me for more than a night.  I anticipate that this is going to be a hard two weeks.

We are launching what I pray will be a successful fundraiser of beautiful t-shirts that really display Gods word of caring for the orphans and the oppressed.  I would also like to ask for you to pray for the success of this fundraiser and our final huge yardsale that will take place on Sept. 10th and 11th.  We have a couple long days ahead as we prepare for the sale, may we have the strength to share Gods heart for orphans to all that shop at our sale.

We have a busy week ahead and I know that fasting on Wednesday is really what I need at this point in the journey.  There are many days when it seems too hard and too big.  I ask myself why did HE choose us for this.  The thing is, I stop and think about it and while we may be done building our family once Sophia is home we are not done, He has called us to care for the fatherless and afflicted.  This is just the beginning of a life long journey that we have no idea where He will take us.  The first step is following our God, when he says go or do regardless of how hard or how big.

Please join us in fasting on Wednesday.  Be Blessed!

And the winner is.....


Send me a message Sharon and let me know what style/size and color you would like.  We appreciate you spreading the word about our adoption fundraiser.  You are a beautiful friend to the orphans!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

T-Shirts to Bring Sophia Home - Giveaway!

Our next fundraiser will launch on Monday September 6th. We are very excited to share with you our t-shirt fundraiser. The shirts were designed by Stacy and her husband at My Cup Overfloweth who will be on their way in a matter of a day to get their son Solomon. They have been so generous to many families in the same journey that they are in and we feel so blessed that they are allowing us to use their t-shirt design. I absolutely love the design and I hope that you will love it too.

As a preview to our t-shirt presale starting on Monday we are doing a giveaway. We appreciate your help in promoting our fundraiser and to show our appreciation we are giving you chances to win a t-shirt. Here is what you need to do to earn a chance:

1 entry for posting our "Bringing Sophia Home" button on your blog
1 entry for writing about our t-shirt sale/giveaway on your blog
1 entry for posting it on facebook (if we aren't friends we will need to become friends for this one, you can find me at Mandie Allen Metier)

That gives you three chances to win. For every 50 entries I will add in another t-shirt. Leave me a comment letting me know what you have done.

The shirts are available in a unisex mens shirt in navy, chocolate and cactus green, womens shirt (not a fitted shirt) in brown and city green, and in childrens sizes in navy and pink.

Check back Monday evening for the launch of the t-shirt presale. The presale is from Monday September 6th through Sunday September 19th. I will submit the order to the printer on Monday September 20th and should have the t-shirts to ship within two weeks.