Tuesday, March 27, 2012


OK, I woke up to awesome emails this morning.  MORE amazing photos of the girls from this past November.  And I also received an email from another Huainan angel's future forever mommy who we've been praying for.  So happy to have connected with her.

Here are the newest photos.  Enjoy!

Look at her smile!  

LOOK!  They are next to each other. This is before they knew they are going to be sisters.  (Hope in striped sweater, Maggie in green jacket)


Hope & a friend.  We will be bringing lolly's to China.  :-)

I love how it looks they are having a conversation.  

I just LOVE Hope's smile.  :-)

Monday, March 26, 2012


I just love meeting new friends on the internet.  The girls orphanage group is going wild with so many families meeting. I love it.  This means more kids are coming home!  :-)

We are all introducing ourselves and sharing photos. And tonight I came across these photos of the girls.  It breaks my heart.  And makes me happy.  Breaks my heart to see Hope dressed like a boy.  Breaks my heart to see a pic of Maggie where it looks like she is sad. But makes me happy to see them.  Any little glimpse makes me happy.  Enjoy the photos.

Hope is in green shirt and bright green shoes (on right behind girl in front)

Hope in green shirt (July 2010)

Maggie!  November 2011

All of these girls shared a room.

There's Hope!  She in striped sweater.  

Maggie looks like a little mother

Maggie in back in green jacket

She looks sad. Her friend was leaving with her forever family.  This picture was taken about a month before she received our letter letting her know we are adopting her & Hope.  

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Shopping Can Be Therapeutic!

Well, usually it can be.  Except when you are not certain on what size your children will be wearing.  We know they are close to Abby & Jadyn's size.  Based on their referral info that was taken almost a year ago. But, they are also older.  So, we are buying the same size in bottoms (a medium or size 8) and then a large in tops & dresses.  A & J did try on some Large tops and they did fit them.  So I know they will not be too small for Hope & Maggie.

It's been fun. But also stressful.  Because I don't want to bring the wrong things to China.  And of course we do not know their likes or dislikes. We are basing everything off of all of the photos we've seen of them.  Hope seems like a tomboy. Maggie seems like a girly girl.  :-)

So, this is what we have bought so far.  We don't plan on packing a lot of clothes from here for them. But we wanted a few outfits. We will take them shopping in China for the majority of our time in China. And then once we get home we'll take them shopping here.

PJ's for the girls


Outfits for Maggie

Outfits for Hope

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Update from Agency

So.....Lots of confusion going on about the next step of the process. We have a lot of papers that need to be filled out.  Well, USCIS has changed some things and we found out (from a friend) that one of the blanks needs to be left blank.  Unfortunately her agency did not catch this mistake and it has cost them several weeks.

So, with that new info, I emailed our agency. Just to confirm that we need to leave it blank.

I also asked if they know where we are in the stack of dossiers in China.  If they have any idea if we are moving closer to the top.

And I asked what would happen if our LSC came and Bill was not home, what we needed to do. Because we both have to sign this and return it to China ASAP.

Well my agency emailed me last night.  This was the email.  BTW, we are on day 39 of our wait for LSC.  So according to what they say in the email, we are in "the window" for when it could come.

Hi Debbie,
That is too bad about your friend's trouble with USCIS! That can be so frustrating to loose time. You will want to leave the field for "USCIS Account #" blank. They no longer issue these numbers, though some families who have been in the process for a long time will have a number from an older approval system. 

Unfortunately, short of asking the CCCWA directly, there is no way to know where you are at in the process. If you get to the 12 week mark, we will inquire with the CCCWA. Typical processing is still 5-12 weeks. 

Bill will need to sign the LSC in order for you to file the I-800. If he is out of town you can sign it and scan it to him. He can then sign and scan it back to you. Since you only need a copy to send to USCIS, this should suffice. Once he is back in town he can sign the real thing. You won't send it back to us until you receive your I-800 approval and letter from the National Visa Center. So you will hang on to the LSC for a while before you send it back to us.

I hope this is helpful, Debbie! Let me know if you have any other questions!

PRAYING that we do not have to wait 12 weeks.  

A new friend is traveling to Huainan this weekend to adopt her daughter. She is going to ask to go to the orphanage and she is going to try to find Hope & Maggie. Please pray that they will allow her to go and will allow her to take pictures (and maybe video) of the girls.  I would LOVE to be able to hear their voices.  


Saturday, March 17, 2012

Adoption Fundraiser

Hello All!
I wanted to let you know about a fundraiser that we are doing with 3 other families in our church who are also adopting.  
We are doing an ALL DAY scrapbooking/craft day.  Come and work on your scrapbooks, or any craft projects that you have been neglecting.  Lots of fellowship & food.  Stay for as little or for as long as you'd like.  We will also have some raffle prizes. 
In preparation of the event, our friend Brooke Childs has offered to donate her profits from her Creative Memories' business to our adoption.  If you order online through her site, she will donate the money back to us.  You do not have to attend the scrapbook/craft day event to order online.  All orders will be shipped directly to you.  
When placing your order, please put my name (Debbie Byrne) in as the Host.  Place all orders before April 15th please.  
We will be sending out an Evite soon for local friends/family to attend the craft day on Saturday April 28, 2012 from 9-9 @ FishHawk Fellowship Church.  
Thank you in advance.  You will be helping to bring 2 more miracles home to their forever family with your purchase.  

Friday, March 9, 2012


So, last night a friend found new photos of her daughter.  She asked another friend "how do you keep finding the photos?"  The friend replied "Go to Google Translator.  Type in the orphanage name. Copy the Chinese characters and paste it into Goggle.  Then hit images".

So I did that. Over 30 pages came back.  And I think I found 1 picture of Maggie.  Again, priceless to me.

I believe that is her in the yellow shirt and pink headband. 

Day 28 of our wait for LSC.  I wish there was a way to find out where we are in line for our approval. :-)

6 weeks ago today we were DTC.  4 weeks ago today we were LID.  The time is moving.  I know summer will be here before we know it.  Doing all we can to cherish the moment we have with our kids home now.  It is still hard for me to imagine that we're going to have SIX kids in a few months.  :-)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

God ALWAYS Hears!

I could not think of a better title.  Because this morning I woke up to an email telling me to check a site. And there were 2 pictures of our girls.  I needed this. God knew I needed this.  I'm not allowed to share these photos until the girls come home (they are on a private site).  But thankfully we are allowed to see them and it helps with this wait.

They were photos of the girls (and their classmates) eating apples.  Hope had a big smile (as usual) on her face when she was taking a bite.  They are still bundled up in jackets so it must still be cold there (it's in the 80's here so it's hard for me to imagine that they are cold).   :-)

I also wanted to say, I appreciate you reminding me to enjoy our kids who are home.  We are doing our best to do that.  :-)  Every time I look at them I'm reminded of the gift that they are to us.  They surprise us with how fast they are growing up.  Wasn't Abby just a baby?  :-)  We are taking the family away next week. Our first real vacation in about 4 years.  We're excited.  We're looking forward to having tons of fun. Now just pray we can get through the 12 hour car ride.  :-)

Until next time.....

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


OK, I think this is the first week in weeks that we have not seen a new photo of one of our girls.  And I have to admit I'm a little sad.  I told you in the last post I'm being spoiled with photos.  And I don't want them to stop.  :-)

Sunday at church our pastor was talking about the woman who was suffering from a blood disorder for 12 years. How she was an outcast for 12 years.  She touched the hem of Jesus and was healed.  It's an amazing story.  One that did not affect me until we got in the car.  Bill was upset.  He said he could not help but thinking of Hope during the sermon.  12 years she's been living with her cleft issues.  12 years she's tried to fit in with the other kids. 12 years she's tried not to be different.  Then I lost it.  I started to cry.

Sure, all of the photos we've seen of her she's been smiling.  BUT, we've heard how she so badly wants to fit in. She so badly wants to have people like her.  She tries to please everyone.  And it's not always easy for her.

I want to tell her how beautiful she is. I want to love her and hug her and let her know that she is a miracle, she is very special, she is LOVED by Jesus, she was chosen.  I can't wait for that day.  And today it's just been hard.  Hard with no updates. Hard with the wait.  Hard because we're just sitting here, they are just sitting there, waiting.  Why do we have to wait????  Why does it have to take so long?  Only God knows.  He has a perfect plan for us to become a family.  It's just so hard waiting.

Don't get me wrong, we miss Maggie too. We can't wait to tell her how loved she is. How special she is. How much Jesus loves her.  It's just that she has not had to live with such a big physical disability and people do not look at her differently.  That is why we have been "worrying" (so to speak) about Hope.

We are on day 25 of our wait for LSC.  Yesterday a bunch came out.  The people who posted that they received theirs waited 84 days, 54 days, 52 days and 49 days.  Oh how I would LOVE to wait less than 50 days.  Please pray that this process will go smoothly and quickly so our girls can come HOME!

A few new mom's I've met online are getting ready to travel to Huainan.  I have asked if they could try to meet Hope & Maggie. They are going to do their very best. Please pray they will be granted permission to visit the orphanage, that they will be able to meet Hope & Maggie, and that somehow they will be able to let the girls know that we are waiting and we are coming.

No new pictures.  Not yet.  Yes I'm spoiled. I love seeing our girls beautiful smiles.  Praying we'll get more photos soon.

Until next time.....