December 28, 2007

Fabulous Christmas Gifts for Avery

We have been so fortunate to have great family support throughout this wait for our daughter, little did we know that also meant some great Christmas gifts for her too!!


Mom and Dad ordered us the precious address labels. Mom was so impressed that she got to choose the features for me and Paul and dad was quick to point out that he chose the angel wings for Avery.


Every year since we have been waiting (05, 06, and now 07) Mom and dad have given Avery a doll for Christmas. Mom thinks every little girl needs a doll every Christmas.


Chris, Danette, and the boys gave up this precious silver bracelet for Avery. Yes, she will definitely be a princess.


How cute is this table and chairs set?? This again was a generous gift from mom and dad and matches her room perfectly!!!!


Sandra and Cliff (aka Mimi and Poppy) bought all kinds of great toys for Avery. They even found a piggy bank and cup with her name on it. She also received a set of toddler books and an adorable learning flower toy. They did promptly take their gifts back and put them up because they feel that Avery will be home so soon that she can open them herself!!

We also received a stunning pearl earring, bracelet, and necklace set for Avery from my Aunt Kathy. I was unable to get a good picture of it with the glare of the light but hopefully Avery can model it for you very soon.

Thank you so much for the wonderful things for our daughter. We appreciate you all soooo much.

December 27, 2007

Not knowing is the hardest part!!!

Well, December is almost over and that means referrals should be arriving in the next week or so. Of course the rumor mill is churning at full force. Right now it is split 50/50 with either the 19th or 20th being the next cut-off date. You KNOW what that means: 20th = We are IN!!!!!!! 19th = We missed it by ONE day. Several people that have missed by one day in the past say that the next month is alot less stressful because you KNOW that you will get your referral next. I am still cautiously optimistic that we will see our baby's face in January. In the last two years I have built a wall around my heart to try to protect it during this wait. Is it time to starting breaking down the wall, or should I leave it up just a wee bit longer? I guess the next week will tell us!

We had a wonderful Christmas with our families and that post is coming soon!!

We humbly ask for your prayers as we go through these final roller coaster weeks of waiting for referral!!!

December 23, 2007

The perfect song:

I found this video and song on another blog and the moment I heard it, my eyes immediately started tearing up thinking about my daughter.

It is from a christian band named Third Day and was written by one of the band members during his family's wait for their referral from China. Evidently they traveled this past year so this video was put together for this Christmas season.


Enjoy!!





And just is case you are like me and like to actually read the words to songs I have listed them here also.

Merry Christmas
By: Third Day

There's a little girl trembling on a cold December morn
Crying for momma's arms
At an orphanage just outside a little China town
There the forgotten are

But half a world away I hang the stockings by the fire
And dream about the day when I can finally call you mine

It's Christmas time again but you're not home
Your family is here and yet you're somewhere else alone
And so tonight I pray that God will come and hold you in his arms
And tell you from my heart I wish you Merry Christmas

As I hang the tinsel on the tree and watch the twinkling lights
I'm warmed by the fire's glow
Outside the children tumble in a wonderland of white,
Make angels in the snow

But half a world away you try your best to fight the tears
And hope that heaven's angels come to carry you here

It's Christmas time again but you're not home
Your family is here and yet you're somewhere else alone
And so tonight I pray that God will come and hold you in his arms
And tell you from my heart I wish you Merry Christmas

Christmas is a time to celebrate the holy child
And we celebrate his perfect gift of love
He came to earth to give his life
And prepare a place for us
So we could have a home with him above

It's Christmas time again and now you're home
Your family is here so you will never be alone
So tonight before you go to sleep, I'll hold you in my arms
And I'll tell you from my heart, and I'll you from my heart
I wish you Merry Christmas




So Merry Christmas Avery, even though we haven't see your face, we love you just the same and we can't wait to call your ours!!!!!!!!

December 20, 2007

2007...the year in review....

What a great time I had going through photos and blog posts from the last year. It really brought back some memories!!! I was going to link each event of the month with it's particular post but that was way too much work. So, if you are so inclined dig through our archives to relive all the great moments of 2007.

January - The first month of 2007 brought the big month of birthday celebrations for our family. Paul, Danette, and Kelby all share January birthdays so we always have a celebration at my mom's. This month also had us going on a last minute cruise with Paul's parents and grandparents. It was a wonderful time of relaxing and and sharing special memories with family.
















February - This month we helped mom celebrate her 30 year anniversary working with the same company. The company hosted a reception that we attended and got to meet some of her great co workers. We also celebrated my Grandpa's birthday this month. Little did we know that it would be his last, but how lucky are we to have these great memories to treasure. This was also the month that we started "the great living room makeover" we purchased new living room furniture and eventually wound up redoing the whole room.













March - This was a very busy month for us. We started the month by celebrating Sandra's birthday. I was also lucky enough to attend the Disney Princess on Ice show with my posse. We also attended a wedding for Paul's cousin complete with mariachi band and dancers. Throw in an M3 night, craft night, and dinner theatre date night and this month really flew by.














April - Another busy month for us!!!! We started the month with Kolin's birthday, complete with go kart. Paul and I also participated with our friends in the annual March of Dimes walk. We had the camping trip that turned into a weather nightmare but wound up being a weekend of friends, fun, and Wii. My family had there annual gigantic Easter egg hunt and we ended the month our annual camping trip/family reunion with Paul's parents, grandparents, aunts & uncles!!













May - A very memorable May!!!!!! This month I attended a women's retreat with Christie's church that was definitely life changing. Paul and I wound up not only attending but also joining this church later in the summer and have been very blessed!!! This month we also celebrated Mollianne's birthday and who could forget the great "Bounce House Escapade of 2007". We also had a wonderful M3 birthday celebration with a great dinner, great friends, and of course a little Wii and Guitar Hero!! The month ended with our family celebrating not only my mom's birthday but also mom and dad's anniversary.
















June - This was a very roller coaster month for our family. Paul and I started the month by participating in the Breast Cancer Walk, in honor of Erin's mom. Later in the month we went through the devastating trial of my grandpa's unexpected death. Throw in Father's Day, a wedding, and we wound the month down with a much needed vacation to San Antonio with our dear friends.

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July - We started the month with our annual "Around the 4th cook out, swim party, and fireworks show. It was also the month of another camping trip cancelled because of weather but once again we turned it into a great time of family fellowship. We also celebrated the unexpected arrival of a new member of the M3 posse!!!! Last but certainly not least was my birthday celebration and several leisurely spent weekends floating in the pool.

















August - I was fortunate to attend the Women of Faith conference with my mom and great friends. Paul and I got a sample of the high life by watching a minor league baseball game in a VIP suite. Mom broke her leg, Dad had a birthday, and Cliff had quadruple bypass. Another busy month for us!!!!!!!!














September - Football season began this month for Kelby and Kolin which equals 2 games a week for Aunt Robyn and Uncle Paul!!!!! We also volunteered at a festival at church, had a very special overnight visitor, attended a baby shower, and that about wound up our first month of Fall.

















October - The football games continued, we ventured out to Six Flags with Christie and Anton, we carved pumpkins, and once again our family gathered to mourn the passing of another member, my aunt Patti.












November - Football season ended, basketball season began and thus continued the cycle of sports!! We also celebrated Thanksgiving, Cliff's birthday, my brother's birthday, a wonderful lunch with my girls, and of course I had my annual Black Friday shopping experience.



















December - This has been kind of low key month for us (and we are not complaining!) We have actually spent a couple of weekends at home just enjoying each other. We also finished up the Christmas shopping, celebrated Tony and Melinda's birthdays, and will make the rounds of our family Christmas celebrations next week.




So you see it has been a whirlwind year in the life of Paul and Robyn. What is missing from this year in review? You guessed it......a referral, a trip to China, and the expansion of our family. We are so close now that we can taste it!!




So keep checkin' in with us because 2008 promises to be a GREAT year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We are official.....

Yes, we are officially members of the "24 club". A club we never wanted to join. Today marks the 2nd anniversary of the day our dossier was logged in at the CCAA. I have heard that this is the longest people have waited for referral in the history of Chinese adoption. Leave it to us to join this elite group. Oh well, what can you do??? We do see the light at the end of the tunnel and what an amazing time that will be. So hang on and enjoy the rest of the ride because it is definitely fixing to get interesting!!!!

Happy Thursday everyone!!!

December 17, 2007

December's over half over!!!!!!!!!!

and you know what that means......next comes January and hopefully our referral!!!!!!!!!! So keep your fingers and toes crossed that we are blessed to see Avery's face the first week of January!!!

December 16, 2007

Celebrating Birthdays!!

Paul's brother, Tony, turned the Big 40 last Thursday so Friday evening the family all went out to celebrate.
The birthday boy with his balloons. We wanted everyone in the restaurant to know Tony had reached this milestone.

Paul, his parents, Tony and Melinda (Tony's wife). Ironically enough Tony and Melinda's birthdays are only 3 days apart so we had the restaurant staff sing Happy Birthday to both of them.

Grammy and Daddy Sonny even drove down for the celebration.I guess it's not everyday your oldest grandchild turns 40!!

Since I was taking most of the pictures I did have to stop and pose once just so you would know I was there!!


After dinner Paul & I and Tony & Melinda headed to downtown Dallas to check out the Neiman Marcus christmas tree. Every year this Neiman Marcus store does some kind of over-the-top tree. This year's them was very futuristic. It was all made out of chrome.
Tony and Melinda posing in front of the tree.

This pictures does not do it justice but there were robots about the tree that would take the ball ornaments off the smaller "trees" in the back and place them on the "trees" in the front.
It was kind of fascinating to watch as the robot obviously had sensors for which branches were empty because that's where the balls would be placed.

That was our Friday.....Saturday we had a lazy day around the house and managed to get the last few presents wrapped. So we are know officially ready for Christmas.

Hope everyone had a great weekend!!!!

December 14, 2007

Kolin's concert debut!!

Our nephew, Kolin, started playing the bells in the 6th grade band this year. Last night was their winter concert. Of course he did a fabulous job (I am a little biased) and it was one of the few times that we got to see him all dressed up. He cleans us pretty good, huh?
The only bad thing was that because he is in the percussion line when the band played together he was way in the back and we could not see him. The percussion line did come out front and play their own little song so we actually got to visualize him in action (for a whole 30 seconds).

Great job Kolin we are proud of you!!!!

December 12, 2007

Flashback....

2 years ago this month Paul and I gathered up all our hopes and dreams for a child, placed them in an envelope and then sent them to China via our agency in Austin. It was 4 months of filling out forms, being interviewed by the social worker, getting fingerprinted, having things notarized/certified/authenticated, and then packaging it all up nice and neat with the hopes that every "i" was dotted and every "t" was crossed. The photo to the left shows our complete dossier proudly spread out on the coffee table.

Fast forward 2 years and we don't even own that coffee table anymore!!! But we still have our hopes and dreams for our child, we are in the final weeks (hopefully)of waiting for our referral and still can't believe this could actually happen for us. Could our dreams of becoming parents really come to fruition?

I said it in '05, again in '06, and will say it again in '07 but I feel with a huge degree of certainty that this WILL be our last Christmas without Avery. So come on December hurry up and get the heck out of dodge so we can get to January and that stork flying straight to our house.



Here is our proud moment standing in the UPS store back in December '05 with our complete dossier ready to get this show on the road.

December 11, 2007

The box........

This box has been sitting on Avery's toy chest since last January. We have slowly been gathering things for our trip to China. Hopefully in the near future we can be putting some of this stuff to use. Is it too early to be working on our care package??

December 9, 2007

We're Ready!!!!

This is what is hanging on our refrigerator right now! I printed it off the internet and can only hope that I have the sense to actually use it when the call does come!! We are still hoping for a referral the first week of January so that means only 3 1/2 more weeks. Can you stand it????

December 6, 2007

It's gonna be a nail biter!!!!!

The CCAA updated their website last night and the cut off for referrals this month is Dec 14th. Remember our LID is Dec 20th!!!


THAT'S ONLY 6 DAYS, PEOPLE, 6 DAYS!!!!!!!!!!!

The CCAA referred 6 days this month, 8 days last month, and 5 days the month before. Now comes the million dollar question: will we slide into a January referral by the skin of our teeth, or will it be February before we see our baby's face? You know we could not have come this far without a little last minute drama.

I am personally thinking January, so come on calendar, get to movin'!!!

November 30, 2007

November 27, 2007

Putting it in perspective.....

Paul and I are both asked repeatedly what it taking so long with the adoption? why are things moving so slow? wasn't Avery supposed to be home by now? Of course the answers are always the same: if we could speed things up we certainly would. I found these numbers on another website and although I can't guarantee the validity of them, they sure seem correct to me. So for those of you following my blog but not privy to all the end and outs of Chinese adoption here are some statistics for you:

*There are currently over 30,000 dossiers in China waiting to be matched

*The CCAA has referred approximately 600 children each month so far in 2007

*The total number of referrals for 2007 should be between 7,000 and 7,500

*Prior to the May 2007 there were 1600-2000 dossiers registered with the CCAA each month

From looking at these numbers it is not hard to tell why the wait continues to grow. It is kind of crazy to think that in January of this year the CCAA was matching Sept 2005 and in the entire year of 2007 they will probably only get through 3 months worth of dossiers yet refer 7,500 babies!!!!

The bright side is that they are now matching OUR month! So we should definitely be seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. So far there are no rumors yet on what the next cut off may be but we are still holding out for a January referral. I can't think of a better way to start off 2008!!!

November 23, 2007

You know that I just couldn't stay home....

Yes, I did go shopping on Black Friday as usual. I did however sleep in and not leave the house until 6am! I was back at the house by 10am with 95% of my Christmas shopping complete. This is the first year I have headed out alone on this shopping expedition but I have to say that it was not bad at all, in fact, when you only have to worry about yourself it doesn't take nearly as long.
Paul did wind up joining me for a couple of stores after he got off work but I am not sure he wants to do that again anytime in the near future. The picture to the left shows all the treasure we came home with!!!
I was so proud of myself for the bargains I scored and still full of energy because I wasn't out all day that I immediately came home and started wrapping!! Now all of our gifts are wrapped, tagged, and ready for Christmas (as evidenced by the photo on the right). I am sure one of the reasons I am trying to rush the holiday season is because we expect to see our daughter's face right after the New Year!!!

Happy Black Friday everyone!!!

November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

We have so much to be thankful for this year. My top three are: FAITH, FAMILY, AND FRIENDS!!!!!


Thank you all so much for being a part of our lives and following our journey.

November 20, 2007

Could it really be???



Yes, unfortunately it is. Today marks the 23rd month that our dossier has been registered in China. We never dreamed it would take this long, yet here we are....still waiting. We find a little bit of solace in the fact that the CCAA is actually referring our month.




I am having a hard time getting into the holiday spirit this year. Usually this week I am scouring the internet looking for the sneak previews of the Black Friday ads, mapping out my strategy, and making list after list. This year however, I am just kind of dragging. I haven't even decided if I am going shopping Friday. Yes, this statement comes from me (the girl who is usually out with the masses no later that 4am)!!!

I guess I could attribute it to multiple things, first and foremost I never thought we would still be waiting for Avery to come home and second this has not exactly been the easiest year for my family. Believe me I know that I still have a multitude of things to be thankful for and I am, my spirits are just depleted right now.

Hopefully this funk will lift and my old sparkly self will come back soon!!!!

November 14, 2007

HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHRISTIE!!!

I need to give a "Shout Out" to my girl Christie. Happy Birthday sista!!! You are a great friend and will be a wonderful mother.

Hope you have an awesome day!!!

November 11, 2007

Thanks for a great season!!!

Thursday night brought the end of the football season for Kelby, Kolin's ended a couple of weeks ago. Both boys did AWESOME this year!!! There were definitely many highlights from the season and both teams won more games this year than last. The picture on the left was taken at Kolin's last game.

Next year brings Kelby playing for the high school on the Junior Varsity team and Kolin's first year of playing for the school district instead of the town youth association. Each boy will also have their own little cheerleader. We need to start looking for Avery's uniform now!!!

Enjoy the highlights from both teams on the slideshows!!!

Kelby is #2 and plays on both the offense and the defense.




Kolin is #5 while wearing red jerseys and #90 while wearing white. He plays defense.




Hope everyone had a great weekend!!!!!!!!!!!