Friday, December 21, 2012

Someone had a birthday.

Just a short note, Blossom turned 7 years old yesterday. My Nieces Lilly and Kylie and my nephew Bobby have been learning about the calendar and how it works. In October I sat down with them and together we entered every ones birthday on the calendar. Bobby had his 9th birthday in November and Kylie just had her 6th birthday at the beginning of December. They wanted to know what day Blossoms birthday fell on. So we entered that in on the calendar as well back in October. I was so touched by Bobby saying to me on Tuesday "2 days Blossoms birthday." I said your right but Blossom is still in China. I said do you want to have a party for Blossom? He said "party 2 days" You just have to love his new developing English skills. We do. So we had a little party on Blossoms behalf. Pics are not so hot as I used my phone but you get the idea.

Cute but simple little cake

A little help with the candles please. Look our dog Thumbellina
wants to get in on the action too.

I will take care of this for Blossom!!

Do these boots come in my size?

A party without presents? Not a chance. 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Please Open Early

It is not Christmas yet but I received an early Christmas present! I was told not to wait and open it right away. Any guesses on what I may have received? Here is a hint it comes in an overnight envelope. (Bows and Christmas tag not included Hee Hee)

And Look what they sent me. My LOA!!!!!!

Isn't this the most beautiful present anyone can ask for under the tree?

How awesome is this?

So tonight, instead of baking Christmas cookies, wrapping presents, shopping or watching a Christmas movie  I will fill out the DS-230, I-864, initial a copy of my referral, sign an original care plan letter, send yet another set of copies of our passports, copy of most current 800A and 3 sets of I-800 forms (visa applications ). Oh, also 1 application for immigrant visa for Miss Blossom. Hmmmm...... Christmas festivities or paperwork? .......I think I would rather do all of the paperwork!

As I approach bringing Blossom home I have begun preparing more for her arrival. She will need some special things that most children coming home will not need. Of course after she officially becomes my daughter in the eyes of the law (she already is in my heart ) She will be fitted and given her own equipment that will be designed with her in mind but until then she will need to borrow. I stumbled onto a really cool website called ABLE CLOSET it offers pediatric medical equipment that a person can check out and borrow for 6 month intervals. It is great as it is in the Bay area and only 3 hours from my home. They only ask for a small donation and that you return the equipment in good condition. I found a great wheelchair that will be perfect for Blossom. My sister in law Diane who spent time with Blossom the summer picked it up for me and said it will work out great.

It has a shoulder harness that will keep her sitting up and not leaning off to the side along with a comfy head rest.

The seat is called a tilt in space and can recline Blossom back if she gets tired.

You can even turn the seat around so she can see her mama and bond even more! The entire seat will detach from the frame and the frame folds up just like a regular stroller. How cool is that?

This little guy is my nephews son Aiden. He is 3 years old and is the same height as Blossom but he is about 11 pounds heavier than Blossom. He fits great so I know Blossom will have some room to spare.

I also belong to a wonderful yahoo group that deals with special needs medical equipment that parents no longer need. Maybe their child has grown larger or it did not work for their child. Anyway you can post on it if you are looking for something and if people are not using it any longer you can pick up some great deals. Because Blossom can not sit on her own she will be very difficult to bath I found this wonderful bath chair on this yahoo group. 

The seat can be made into many different seating positions from a chair to laying completely flat and many other positions in between. We use something similar at my work and it is wonderful. 

Lastly, I again stumbled onto another web site of a grandma who makes special needs chairs. These can be attached to your kitchen chair or put onto the floor up against the couch. She even says they can fit into a basket at the grocery store. Not trying this out till Blossom is home Hee hee.

Attached to the dinning room chair. Blossom can join in in the family meals.

Here it is with the front portion down so I can put her in. It has two position belts and the head bolsters to keep her upright.

Al-righty then enough of all my treasures, who wants to see some videos? Hold it down a minute and take a look.

I received these videos from my agency the other day. Looks like Blossom is going through her daily stretching exercises. I am so happy that she receives these exercises two times per day. I am positive they have helped her be more flexible. The Lord has blessed this little girl in so many ways. Thank you Harmony House nannies for the awesome care you provide to these little children.

Awe isn't she just the sweetest? You go little lady and eat all your veggies.

Things are looking mighty fine around here. And who do I owe everything to? You guessed it Jesus. He continues to be there every step of the way. Thank you so much Lord you are amazing.

Merry Christmas and a big Happy Birthday to Jesus!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

I'm Thankful

I am sorry I have not posted in quite some time. I think if it could go wrong it did go wrong. First I was struck with a horrible cold virus that seized my entire body for 3 weeks. Two of those weeks I lost my voice and was left with this voice of some might say sounded kinda manly Hee Hee. Laughing now but not then. It was so bad if I wanted to order anything from the drive through I had my daughter order it for me. I wonder what they thought when they heard her little sweet voice in the box and then my manly voice at the window? My body ached, I coughed until my ribs hurt and I was pleading no no not again I was run down uggh I felt miserable.

Fortunately, I recovered from the virus of a lifetime. During this time I began watching my newly adopted niece Kylie 5 years old and nephew Bobby 9 years old who were adopted from China. Along with them I also watch their sister Lilly 7 years old who was adopted from China 5 years ago. Needless to say at this point I could spend an entire post on these children and the wonder of watching them begin to integrate into their new family and American life. Notes to families that are adopting older children from China, expect the child not to understand the reason we wear seat belts in America. My first day driving with Kylie and Bobby I was greeted with Bobby at my ear trying to tell me something. Scared the daylights out of me to say the least. Children my open car doors at will so child locks should be placed on before children discover the fact that they can open the door. Car washes are super fascinating and create much laughter. Soda means Diet Pepsi not Root Beer, Sprite, Orange, or any other brand of soda. It is possible to communicate with children using charades type movements and a lot of sound effects. No one greets you at the end of a school day quite as exuberant as these children. It is possible not to speak a language fluently or even understand exactly what is going on but  if you dress a child up in a costume and teach them that the phrase trick or treat somehow it sinks in .  Trying to explain homework to children in English is often hard enough try doing it with two children who just look at you and say "I don't know" . But these little guys are just awesome. I miss them tonight as they are meeting their Grandma and Grandpa down south in San Diego.

So on to the next order of delays. So being pretty non computer savoy I really don't venture out much past E-mail, FB, yahoo groups etc. If I am in doubt of something I call my kids and ask before I do so to speak. Well, one day my son Nathan said to me "mom you need to clean up your desk top" I said OK and went on with life. Then one day just sitting there this little cute sorta Goodyear Michelin / astronaut looking guy popped up saying he was the Mac Keeper. Now, I have seen this little guy many time before and just have not had time to bother with him so I just click ignore and go on with life. But that day I thought to myself this guy must be what Nathan is talking about. He is the one who is going to clean up my desk top. So I push the button to allow him to do so. He politely tells me he has scanned my files and if I just click one more button he will be happy to finish the task. Then that little voice in my head says maybe you should call Matthew and just make sure this is OK. One quick phone call tells me I have done something very bad. I downloaded one of the few virus a Mac can catch. So I took the computer in and had it cleaned but guess what this little not so cute anymore guy keeps coming back. So I have to take it in again. Luckily, I am using my sons Matthews computer to complete this post.

Then my daughter Erica who has been diligently saving her money to go to China, she has saved $4000.00 to go. She is now facing her own setbacks. Her car is in the shop needing $800.00 worth of work, she needs to pay for her books for next semester, and her glasses are wearing out. And she is now thinking she may not be able to go with me after all. This would be terrible if she were not able to go after all her hard work to go. Praying the Lord will bless her and allow her to come with me.

With all this you may be saying and why are you thankful? I am thankful that the Lord has been so faithful in my life. He has come through over and over again in this adoption. It is easy to just focus on the bad things in life and trust me I go there too. The Lord knew from the moment He put this plan into action and I jumped on board that things would get rough at times and my faith would be stretched over and over again. He has been faithful at each step to make sure everything is right where it should be when it is needed. So I am thankful to Jesus and all He does for me and my family. I had all of my kids together for this vacation, my health is great presently, I have been blessed once again with strangers listening to the Lord and providing more funds to bring Blossom home. He knew I would never be able to do this on my own. That is what is so super cool about this entire thing I can 100 % say this adoption is of the Lord as I am just along for the ride as I can not do it on my own. If I could only not get myself all in a fluster when things seem overwhelming. Jesus has this. He has my back and He is bringing Blossom home. So the other day I am going through my Bible and if your Bible looks like mine it has Sunday bulletins and notes and what not  stuffed here and there anyways I see this little scrap of paper sticking out of the pages and I flip to it and at some point in the past I read and underlined this verse and it was there just speaking to me again! Chronicles 28:20 Then David continued, "Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Don't be afraid or discouraged by the size of the task, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. He will see to it that all the work related to the Temple of the Lord is finished correctly. I am thankful for this verse and it has given me once again a promise that Jesus will bring Blossom home.

So here is where I am at in the process. I am waiting for my LOA. On November 8th my dossier was completed in translation. My SW said I should received my LOA in 4 - 6 weeks! I am no longer at a place were I am frustrated this is taking for ever, it will never happen, whine whine whine. I am now at a place were I am like EXCITEMENT!!! I am so going to China soon and meeting my daughter Blossom and bringing her home to her family. I see it now, I thought I would never be at this point. I am nervous and have butterflies in my stomach. What will it be like to travel to another country that is so different? Will she like me? Will she cry? Will I cry? Dumb question. Will she go through the anxiety that other children do? Will I bring the right size clothes and diapers? Will she fit in the car seat I bring? How will I feed her puree food when I am there? On and on the questions go. Am I nesting right now? Is it really necessary to clean out all the closets in the house right now? Yeah, I am getting that new mommy syndrome going on here. I am so excited I am about to burst.

So as you can tell there have been no pics this go around. Boo hoo it is because I am using my sons computer and do not want to download all of that stuff to his computer. I will post some pics next time. Until then............

Sunday, September 16, 2012

USCIS Approval!

On Friday 9-14-12 my daughter Erica called me and said "mom aren't you waiting for something from USCIS?"  I said "yes." Erica said "well there is an envelope here, do you want me to open it?"  I say "YES!!!" "WAIT!!!!" "what color is the paper showing through the plastic window?"  Erica says "blue sorta, it has lines on it" So I am thinking well, blue with lines is different then the pink paper I received saying they did not accept my home study last time. At the same time I am thinking blue hmmmm, I thought the paper is suppose to be yellow or golden. Hence forth the name  "The Golden Ticket." I say "go ahead open it." Erica opens it and says "what am I looking for?" I am thinking to myself, how am I suppose to know?  I say "I don't know just read me what it says." She is kinda mumbling as she is reading the busy work, then she says the most wonderful word I have heard in a long time..............."APPROVED"  "Approved?" She says it again "APPROVED"

I begin feeling like I am going to faint. 

Not good as I am driving to pick up Jessica from school. I say "YES! YES! YES! thank you, good bye I will be home shortly" For the next 5 minutes I am literally shouting "Thank you Jesus!" "Praise you Father" "You are the one true King!" I am laughing, shouting, jumping around in my seat, lifting my hands hand and just having an amazing worship the Lord moment.

I know people that are sitting next to me at the stop lights (I think I hit every red light to the school) are thinking maybe she needs ..............

If they only knew!

 YES! YES! YES! I am approved! Just writing about it again makes me want to start the whole process over again! Thank you Father, you are so awesome!

So my Golden Ticket.............

was really Blue!

Man, Praise Him He is so good! Remember I posted last week weather or not I should send in my Dossier paperwork and all of the $$$$$$? I am so happy to report that I did send it in and it is now sitting on my SW desk waiting for her return to work tomorrow. She had been on vacation and then went to  China for work. Now everything is just sitting there waiting for her to open it and begin the next step! Ohhhhhh I am so happy. 

My sister in law Diane returned home last night from China. Jessica, Erica and I went over and meet Kylie and Bobby. Beautiful. How cool was it when Kylie and Bobby ran up to us and knew us by name? Thank you Skype! Yesterday, I spent about 6 hours preparing three complete meals for their family so they can begin easing back in to a family routine. I will post more pictures later of Kylie and Bobby. I want them to get settled in a little. I will also post more pictures of Blossom. By the way Blossom is so picin cute.  I watched the videos Diane took of Blossom and Blossom is totally in love with her uncle Keith who was doing the video. Blossom kept turning  her head again and again to look at uncle Keith and she was just talking away to him and smiling. I told you Blossom uncle Keith is a softy. 

 here is Blossom just talking away to uncle Keith.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Got a few minutes?

So many things to share and catch up on. So here we go.

August 22-12. This was the day I spent packing up the car and sending my son Matthew off to College. I tried very hard to prepare for this day but how can you? I tried every last trick in the book to squeeze in extra time before he left but when the day came to move him, it felt like there was not enough time. I am so proud of Matthew, as he has made the decision to become a missionary. Even though I know this career choice will only put more distance between us, I can not say he is wrong. He has decided to follow what the Lord has told each of us to do: Matthew 28:19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and the Holy Spirit. When we dedicate our children to the Lord when they are small infants we have no way of knowing where that child's path will go as they grow. When Matthew was dedicated and anointed with oil and my husband Bob and I prayed over this small baby that we would raise him to follow our Lord Jesus Christ. That we would show Christ love to him through our actions and teach him about Jesus. When we prayed Lord this is your child and we give him to you to do in him as you please. I could not have even imagined that this would be the direction the Lord would have one of my children follow. So, as I sit here even now,  crying  I mean tearing up. I shed tears that  sting of one child moving far from my home. Far enough that I can not see him at the ring of the phone. I also cry tear up with a feeling of being proud. I am proud that Matthew has made this choice. Proud that he is only 18 and is willing to eventually (4 years from now) leave his country and serve the Lord where he does not speak the language, will have no family, and basically will not be welcomed by most people. All to fulfill his part in the Lords plan for his life. Yes, I am a proud ma ma. I love you Matthew.

Going away dinner with family and friends. Sweet Tomatoes.

Traveling to Sacramento. Traffic, Traffic, Traffic!

Sign in front of the school

New home in the dorm. Matthew 6 feet, ceiling is 8 feet, top of mattress 6 feet off the floor, hmmmm..... hope there is no sudden need to sit up in a hurry!

Love that boy! I know, let go mom people might be watching! Thanks for humoring me son.

And the apron string has been cut!

 OK now lets move on to the next order of events..........

Some of you may know that my first round of immigration paperwork was put on hold at the end of July. The USCIS worker read my home study as to once I had Blossom (Annabelle) home I would be supporting 5 people. They concluded that I did not meet the income requirement and put my case on hold for 45 days. AUUGGGGGGG!!!!! They wanted an addendum made to the home study. When I tried to contact my SW, I found out she was on vacation and would not be back for a a week or so. ERRRRRRR!!!!!! When I did get a hold of her and I explained everything, I was asked to refill out paperwork explaining everything again. I tried to explain all of this in the first home study. Erica supports herself, Nathan lives out of the house and Matthew would be leaving to attend collage in the summer. So I would only be supporting myself, Jessica and Blossom (Annabelle) when I brought her home. But the home study states how everything was in the home at the time the study was done. I guess they were not allowed to project the future in the study? Finally, after 37 days my addendum was completed and I received it in the mail on Friday, August 31- 12 PTL!

I am so happy and put it in the mail Saturday, Sept 1 -12. Wouldn't you know it it was a three day weekend so the return information to USCIS would not reach them until Tuesday, Sept 4 - 12. Now I again sit and wait for my Golden Ticket. A letter saying "YES you may bring your daughter Blossom (Annabelle ) home." I can only pray that it will not take the standard two to three week wait. So I am left with a choice, to wait and see if I get approval then send in my dossier paperwork or go ahead and send in my dossier documents along with a lot of $$$$ in hopes that once I get approval my dossier paperwork will already be either sitting on my SW desk waiting or maybe even started and just waiting for that one little final piece of paper work. Think, Think, Think........... Choices, Choices, Choices...........  so I decide I am sending everything off in the mail tomorrow in hopes that I will get a head start. Well, I have to tell you, I already know my SW at the adoption agency is on VACATION!!!! She wont be back until Sept 17. Believe it or not, during this whole process I have had my home study SW out on vacation twice and now the adoption agency SW out on vacation. LOL.  

I can prove I have been born, married, lost a dear spouse, have two jobs, I want to adopt Blossom (Annabelle), have a guardian, I have the ability to support Blossom (Annabelle), been to the Doctor, that I am single, that my family has a life and we have pics to prove it!, I am not a criminal or ever have been, that my dogs have been vaccinated, my children are great students, more reference letters then I know what to do with, three of us want to go to China to bring Blossom (Annabelle) home, and I give consent for all of these documents to be translated. Whew! If this does not prove who I am and what I am seeking then nothing will. I have nothing left to show. So off it will go along with all of these...........

6 very important checks to get all of the above paperwork authenticated and translated for China!

As you know my sister in law Diane and her DH Keith, DS Nicolas and DD Lilly are in China adopting two more blessings. I introduced Kylie in an earlier post. I would like to introduce Bobby. He is 8 years old. What a handsome little boy. Here are some pictures of the kids.

Both of the children are adjusting to their new family. I love doing SKYPE. When Kylie hears the computer chiming that we are calling she will run to the computer. When she sees me and her new cousins she starts laughing and saying Hi aunt Pam, Hi Jessica, Hi Erica! She now knows us by our faces! Both children are writing their names in English. And both are beginning to speak English already! Man, I wish I was there with them picking up Blossom (Annabelle)! Yes, I am a little Jealous but trying hard not to be. I know it is not becoming but it is hard if you know what I mean. When you see this face and you desperately want to give it a kiss and hug her it is hard. Soon hopefully.

Enjoying the blossoms on the trees

Getting out and about with my friend

 Now you are all caught up on the business around the Bean home. Please keep praying that this will move along at light speed. My hopes and prayers of bringing Blossom (Annabelle) home by her 7th birthday (Dec 20 ) or Christmas is quickly fading away. It is still not impossible but highly unlikely unless the Lord moves mountains to do so. In his time not mine. Trying hard to be patient and wait upon the Lord. Also prayer that my sister in law and her family will have safe travel back to the US on Saturday, Sept 15.

Galatians 6:9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

I love my Sister and Brother In Law!

I think I have mention this a few times that my sister in law Diane and her family are also adopting from China. Well that is where they are right now. They have already had gotcha day for their first little one Kylie and will have their second gotcha day next Monday Sept 3rd. So anyway Diane had always planed to go to Harmony House and visit with Blossom and the children but when she found out that our agency does not follow the typical plan that most agencies do and start your time in Beijing it threw a monkey wrench in her plans. Our agency starts your journey in your child's province. So with that being said Diane had to make a critical decision.  Does she fly straight into Chongqing and skip Harmony House all together or does she choose to pay extra $$$$$ to start her journey in Beijing. She desperately wanted to go to Harmony House but with the added expense of flights, hotel, private guild, car, etc for four people I think you understand where she was coming from. Oh, I forgot to mention that her stay in China is going to be 24 days to adopt two children. 24 days! Can you say $$$$? As I talked with her the days before she made her decision I told her I would understand if they were not able to go to Harmony House. My face and voice were confident but in my heart I was full of sadness. I did truly understand but secretly I was hoping she would go. You see, Diane is a Physical Therapist and I was looking forward to her giving Blossom a evaluation and she would also be able to give some ideas of exercises they could do with Blossom. I also had bought some hand splints for Blossom so she could avoid getting permanent contractures in her hands. But most of all I wanted Diane to hold my little girl and send some love her way from me. I wanted to hear all about Blossom from someone I know. Well the decision was made and I am happy to report that Diane decided that she was not going to miss Harmony House even though it cost a lot of  $$$$$$$$. You can read her story here

Here are some of the pictures she sent me.

This is Diane, Keith (DH), Nicolas (DS), and Lilly (DD adopted 5 years ago)

Aunt Diane and Blossom meet!

This one I love. Our running joke has been Diane had very few pics of her children throughout her process and I have been super blessed with pictures. As a waiting parent the thing you cling to is the hope of an updated photo of your little one. She never received updated photos until just before she got TA! Diane said to me jokingly one day  "I am going to visit Blossom and I am taking a picture of me giving her a kiss" It's all good cause without Diane listening to the Lord this picture would have never even been  a thought. She loves her Aunt Diane!

Hand / wrist brace to help control contratures. Size XXS and a little to big!

Her little leg. We will be working on this little foot contracture when she comes home.

Lilly meets her new cousin Blossom. I heard she did great. Nicholas is not in any of these pics because he was taking them. I heard he did great also.

Blossom meets Uncle Keith

So cute!

Don't worry Blossom he is a push over for the little girls. He is a big softy, but don't tell him I said so. Just ask your sister Erica. She was the original little girl who softened his heart and it hasn't been the same since.

Some little kiddos enjoying a snack

Medicine, blankets, bibs, and booster seat that was brought over for the kiddos at Harmony House.

So ya see I am blessed once again. And Diane was so happy she went to Harmony House and would have been sad had she not gone. Harmony House seems to make an impression in peoples hearts. I can not wait to go.

As I said earlier Diane had her first gotcha day on Monday 8-27 and her is a picture of my newly adopted Niece Kylie Gail Xiewen Holsworth age 5.

How beautiful is she? Wow! I hear she is doing amazingly well. Nicholas and Lilly are helping her fit right into the family. Next Monday I will have a newly adopted Nephew. I will pass on pics of him when that day comes.

So Diane and Keith thank you so very much for spending that extra $$$$$ and going to Harmony House to visit Blossom. I really think in her own way she understands and will love to see you again when she comes home.

May He give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed Psalm 20:4