Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Black and White Wednesday

Around here we have had Ainsley on the brain. A lot actually.
She is everything we think and pray about for the most part. She is already so much in our family, it's crazy.
We have a lot of sentences that start off as, "When we get on dah big aero-puhlane and get Ann-sa-leee I will be so so so excited." or "I can't wait to have a mei mei!" or Andrew's favorite "I want an African brodha but Aislee is otay for now"

It is probably the sweetest thing ever.
But, my heart is aching. I want my sweet girl {I say she MY child} in my arms. I am already dreaming of Gotcha Day..How I will just sob and smile and kiss her sweet cheeks and how I cannot wait to get tutu and of course a BIG headband on that little bald head. It makes my heart smile just thinking about it.
We are going to get our homestudy authenticated tomorrow! Yay!! We are one step closer!

Soon, sweet Ainsley girl, soon. {Christmas, maybe?}
Mommy, Daddy, Ashton, Adam., Hayne, Andrew, and Anna Grace are coming to get you. Arms open and Big bows galore.

the long road

Monday, June 27, 2011

Waiting, Waiting

We are waiting, waiting, and doing a bit more waiting.
Shopping, too. We have bought quite a few things for our girl...A few monogrammed bibs, some BIG hairbows and headbands {well, duh} and a few little matching outfits for Anna Grace and Ainsley. We just cannot wait. 
My sweet Mama has been in high gear for getting all the paperwork done. I don't think she sleeps anymore. 
Satan is clearly attacking our family.
In so many ways, it feels {Please be praying so very hard for us and for our sweet Ainsley}
Just to give you some ideas, last week we got a less than encouraging update on our girl.
She does have needs we were unaware of. That's ok. Some have asked if that changes our decision? No.
Are we stepping back? Never! If you read her story, you know she is ours.
She is beautifully perfect.
Then, we found out that the family was supposed to get to meet our girl was unable to because they were told no at the orphanage. They tried SO hard to see our Ainsley. We were so thankful for the family trying so hard.
The last few weeks we have been sick and it seems we have had everything stepping in our way to get to our girl. Satan is hitting us hard. It's completely ok. God must have some big plans for our girl if Satan is trying this hard to stop us! It just isn't going to happen.
Right now we are waiting to get our completed homestudy which should come this week. {We are praying for tomorrow!} We will then file for our i800 which we have gotten permission for it to be expedited {Yay! pray!!} Hopefully we will be LID by the end of July...GOD CAN.
We know this is pretty fast and seems "out there" but we are doing everything we can to get her home.
Please be praying that we are in China for Christmas {How great would that be?!} We know God has a perfect plan and it will come through at just the right time, but this Jie Jie's heart is aching to hold our sweet baby love. I am still unsure of how I lasted the wait last time!
Please keep our girl and family in your prayers.
More updates and pictures to come soon we hope. Pray that God will move mountains and give us the gift of knowing our girl is OK and seeing it.

She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her. -Proverbs 3:15

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sunday Snapshot : Favorite AG quotes

Anna Grace has quite the way with words. Seriously.
Girl keeps us laughing. constantly.
So, the other day when she requested to go outside for a photoshoot, I was completely thrilled to try out my new photoshop* stuff.
I think the pictures turned out pretty darn cute. Especially for a 5 minute shoot in the front yard. Oh, and notice that pink feather she is rocking? Yep, she's got a feather.

(As Anna Grace talks 100 words a minute)
Anna, love please shh. -Mom
Sorry Mama, I just love hearing myself talk. -AG
{Singing as loud as she possibly can in Walmart}
Me : nananananana
AG : Sissy, you just ruined it.
{Looking in the mirror}
AG : Goodness Gracious!
Me : What?
AG : Jesus sure did make me beautiful.
Mom : Anna Grace I think we are going to clean up some today
AG : I think I am going back to bed
Glitter is the new black. -Anna Grace
{I am still unsure of where she gets this}
"When I grow up, I want to be a gymnast" -AG 
"When I grow up, I want to be bigger" -Andrew
"Well, you are already bigger than me" -AG
"I don't get it, the world is ending tonight...why are so many people getting their nails done?" -nail guy
"They wanna go out with style." -AG
Woman at desk: you have quite the accent little miss.
AG: I know. It's cute.

We have quite the little firecracker on our hands, as you can see :)

It is so amazing to think we are so close to celebrating 4 year Gotcha with our sweet Anna Grace. We love you SO much!

Check out more Sunday Snapshots over at Ni Hao Y'all

Sunday Snapshot

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Introducing Our Ainsley Faith!

Many have asked, her name is pronounced Ann-zlee

The very first picture we saw of our girl.
Ainsley's story is truly a miracle. God literally placed our sweet girl in our laps and we knew that she was ours. God is truly mountain moving and awe-inspiring.We could not be more thrilled to welcome this perfect, beautiful, and precious little girl into our family.

After over a week of torturing you, here it is..Ainsley Faith's story.

Ainsley's story begins before we brought Anna Grace home from China. While waiting for Anna Grace my Mom would always say she knew she had two little girls in China, named Anna Grace and Ainsley Faith. she knew. She wanted two sweet Chinese Princesses that she could put big bows in their hair and dress them just alike. It would be so very perfect. Right before we got Anna Grace's referral, my mom asked all of the kids to draw a picture for Anna Grace. Being the so artistic 11 year old at the time I drew a lady bug with 7 spots with a note "7 spots so you are 7 months old at referral" Well, behold to me when we received Anna Grace's referral she WAS 7 months old. Once home, my Mom still had not forgotten about sweet little Ainsley that was somewhere out there. She and I would actually pray for her. I decided I would again draw a picture. I drew the same lady bug with 7 spots but this time I just put "Ainsley, Fall of 2009." I drew this in 2008 and was thinking that she would be home in Fall of 2009. Amazingly enough, not knowing at the time, Fall of 2009 was perfect..she wasn't home...but she was born. 

May 1, 2009, 2 years to the day of seeing Anna Grace, God revealed to us another little face. No, it was not our "Ainsley" it was our boy, Andrew. Oh, how He knows us so much better than we know ourselves and His plans are oh-so-perfect.

While in China with Andrew our group would place bets on who would adopt again. We were always brought up, My Mom would say "No-Never. we are done. done. done." or her trademark quote "If we ever go back to China, Jesus will have to come in my kitchen sit me down and say 'My child you have a child in China'" basically a no, never, ever, everrrr situation. She kept that No for a year.ha.ha.ha.

I, being the crazy-adopt-as-many-as-possible-the-more-the-merrier person I am would constantly bring up children from lists and advocacy blogs I had found. "Oh, look Mom, isn't she sweet? Let's get her!" My very loving parents would always respond with a "No. No. and never ever." After about 15,000 I decided to let God do it on His own time. If and when we were meant to adopt again, we would. 

So, about May 13, 2011 my dad was driving in the car and he prayed "God, when we are supposed to adopt again let Angel bring it up and ask me what country" This was his prayer with Anna Grace, too.

The very same day my Dad walked in from work and my Mom says "Since you are sure we are going to adopt again, which country will it be, Africa or China?" My Dad automatically told her about his prayer and they started looking for an agency--My Mom , Anna Grace and I went to NC for the weekend to celebrate one of my Mom's close friends daughter's birthday. On Saturday my Mom got an email from a friend saying "this is my agency's list and I felt compelled to send it to you" so my Mom opens it and automatically finds a little girl, J. She is smitten with her. She Called my dad gets him to pull up the list and without saying who she chose, he chose J as well. We called the agency and told them we wanted her. They told us we were family 3 on the list and would have to wait. This was on Saturday.

We dropped it and assumed what was meant to be would happen.

The following Monday we called an agency to find out more about a specific child..we heard no reply.

A week passed and we heard nothing from the agency with J so the next week we called the agency and asked. They said Family 1 had turned her down and that Family 2 was reviewing. We decided to just pray and wait. On Wednesday we got a call saying they had sent J's file to China because many red flags were raised about her. We would have to wait until they got another report and for the 2nd family to decide.

Later that day an agency {who we had called 2 weeks earlier} and said they had the child, S, who we had said we may be interested in. They sent over the file and we reviewed it. She had major needs but we felt God calling us to her. Us having her file was so God...He was preparing us for OUR Ainsley.

We called immediately{no more than 10 mins after getting the file} and said to lock S..Unfortunately we got an email 20 minutes later saying she was gone. We were crushed. The next morning my Mom got up and contacted 6 agencies. One agency was willing to work with us and said they would go IN TO the CCAA* and find out what was going on with S. {Mind you nothing has been heard about J} and we just prayed for God's will yet, we wanted the baby. {That was on Thursday June 2} On Friday{June3} morning at 6am we received an email saying that S was for sure gone and already had a family. We rejoiced in the fact that this precious little girl had a family and knew that our Ainsley was waiting. We had planned to just start our dossier with an agency and let them match us. Again, God had other plans..much better plans.

My Dad had prayed over the past few weeks that not only would God show us where we were going but he would show us our child on Friday, June 3. My Dad revealed that to us on Thursday, June 2. He told us he had been "throwing a fleece" out. "God please reveal not only the country we are supposed to go to, but our child as well" He got this from John 14:14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

On Friday, I got up at about 8am and just glanced at Rainbow*Kids* to see if J was still there and if there were any new kids. The first child on RK was a little girl with CLCP {which is Andrew's SN and a need we are very comfortable with} and born on my birthday. I jokingly showed my Mom and was like "Oh look here is a baby!"

She was drawn to her and asked me to get on her email and request her file-{She was with the same agency as the other little girl who we had just found out was gone} I sent the email and we just waited.

The email said
"Funny you should ask for this little girl my facilitator had just returned from the CCAA checking on the other little girl's file and she said that this little girl looked just right for you. I was about to send the file anyway. It will come through in about 5 minutes."

We got the file and the email header said "Chinese Name : CLCP and Special Need"
My Mom almost didn't open the email because of her second SN, We opened it, prayed over it, and started really looking. God was changing hearts. We got more information and talked to numerous peds, surgeons, international doctors and neurosurgeons.

We had a lot of questions and the agency sent us to a great woman who helped us out a lot {and had a whole lot of patience!}
So we talked to her and found out the orphanage is very very cautious and they send kids for things at the smallest problem. So she could have fallen and had a bump so they sent her for a CT. We then found out that in just a few days there will be a family going to her orphanage. They said they will get her pictures, size, take our care package and cleft bottles so she can be properly fed. It was amazing and so God.

Friday night while still so unsure of what we were going to do my Mom said "If she had her palate surgery, I would say let's go now..No stopping us"

My dad prayed that Friday night God would give us a sure sign of what to do. My Mom sent a few more doctor friends her file and got some opinions. She was a little discouraged by a comment so she go0gled Ainsley's name China and Cleft. It pulled up a site that is called China*Care* which gets the sickest and most need orphans their surgeries. Ainsley had been FULLY funded. She would have her lip surgery and 6 months later have her palate surgery...That means that RIGHT now she is preparing to have her palate repaired. We KNEW at that point God had all but filled the LOI out for us. We had to send it by that Sunday night which is the day we got Andrew's file two years ago. {hence this post}

Right before my parents decided to definitely say "YES" to Ainsley, they asked all of the kids what we thought about her. No matter what we said we would not be judged and I could not harm them for saying no. {ha.ha.ha} Anyone of us could have been selfish and said "NO! I do not want to bring her home. She may just change the life I am living right now. We may lose some things and we may not get to do and go as much. So, no no no. " But, none of us did. I have been blessed with an awesome Jesus-loving family. We know that this life is not ours and it is only by the grace of God I am typing this to you right now. He has blessed us. He has shown us a need. What are we going to do? Turn away? Leave her in an institution and refuse to help her? We clearly SEE the need and KNOW we can take care of her, yet we say no? That was not an option. We as a family refuse to leave a precious child, OUR sister and daughter to live a life in an orphanage. It just would not happen. Adam {12 year old brother} said it beautifully, "Mom, if we know she's there and she needs a family, then how could we ever say no?" We couldn't. Regardless of her future, she is ours. She needs us, but we need her so much more. {We sent LOI on Tuesday June 7 and received PA on Thursday June 9}

We have finally found our girl, our dream, our answered prayer. Ainsley has great needs, but she was created in the image of a GREAT God. She is perfect, so beautiful, and worth more than rubies.

If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you." -Matthew 17:20

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Sunday Snapshot : Anna Grace

This girl right here, cannot wait to be a big sister...
She is going to share her toys, love her, and be such a good role model.
Knowing Miss Anna Grace, I don't doubt it.
This sassy little girl did tell me though,
"I am not losing my Princess spot, so yanno"
"Well, Ainsley will want to be a Princess too"
"She can be the frog."

Sadly, little princess angel girl, I don't think that will work out too well. heh.

I cannot believe my precious girl will soon be 5. A WHOLE hand.

She is such a joy to have in our life. Bringing so many smiles, laughs, and just being thankful to be blessed with her.
She said today "This whole waiting for Ann-saaa-leeeeee is tough. I don't like it."

Me either, sweet girl.

You will be such a fabulous big sister, Anna Grace.

Happy Sunday! Look out for this week, the big reveal IS coming! just pray!

Sunday Snapshot

Friday, June 10, 2011

Almost There...

So, I decided to be nice and give you one final hint before the big reveal...I am precious, right?

So, as you can see...Yes, Princess Anna Grace is losing her baby spot...Ainsley will take that on.
Now, I know you all want to know about the new little one...Miss Ainsley Faith...That will have to wait :) But, I will tell you how AG and Andrew feel...fair?

Anna Grace claims she will share her toys....

And love her for forever, and ever.
She can't wait to teach her Princess Hands and how to smile...
That her Sissy is crazy and always takes pictures....
But, it is for a good cause ;)
She learned how to take Andrew in beautifully...
And I feel she will do the same with our other sweet girl.
She is so so so excited to be a big sister.
Everywhere we go she proudly announces "Look, Look! We are getting Ann-sa-leee! She is going to be my sister!"
Of course, Andrew was already a big brother...but only by 5 weeks.
They are just best friends these two. Being so close in age they do everything together.
And cannot wait to welcome Ainsley into this crazy put a smile on that sweet face...

Share some love...and silly faces
Lots of love.
and surprises and excitement! Oh the excitement!

"I am a big sis! Yes I am! But, I am still going to be the sweet baby" -AG
Yes, my sweet girl you will...
Oh, and Andrew? I think his face says it all...:)
"Anoda sista?"
Yes, buddy another little sister