Friday, August 28, 2009

Friday, Friday, Friday

It's hard to believe that in a week it will be the last time I sleep in my bed for 3+ weeks. So much to do tonight. Packing, get house ready to show in the morning, birthday party we are going to in the morning... We are still waffeling on what hotel to stay in. Our agency's hotel is the WS and it is where we are supposed to stay. But, our agency has graciously allowed us a varience of being able to stay at the V in order to save money. The WS has twin beds (their actually slightly larger), you pay for internet usage, $139/night, "free" crib in room and breakfast is included. The V is 1/2 th price, has free internet, a king bed and breakfast. We would be responsible for getting from the V to the WS, it's about a 1/2 mi. walk. Is saving $1200+ worth it???? According to a recent traveler it rained every day. Do we want to walk in the rain with Elizabeth EVERY day? Am I being too miserly? Our total airfare came to $2777 flying San Antonio to Guangzhou. So we saved there. Oh, decisions, decisions. We have to finalize our hotel Monday.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Now for Booking Flights!!!

We got our Consulate Appointment confirmation today!!!!! YIPEEEE! Now we need to book flights and hotel. Hopefully we can get better deals than our agency's travel agency. Our agency will also need to grant us permission to stay at a hotel other than their preferred hotel. But still overall rejoicing!!!! Have already found a flight for $874 out of San Antonio directly into Guangzhou- our total flight duration will be about 24 hours including layovers, hmmmm.
*As a side note, a family that has endured all of the long waiting with us is still waiting for their consulate confirmation. Please lift up the O family.*

Monday, August 24, 2009

It's Here, It's Here!!!!

Our Travel Approval finally arrived at our adoption agency. It took 9 weeks, was supposed to take 2-4 weeks. But God is faithful. Please pray for our consulate appointment to be scheduled Tuesday in China (that's tonight US time) and that we can book flights tomorrow once we have the appointment.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Our TA is coming!!!!

Word on the street (according to our adoption agency) is that our TA is on it's way!!! Thank you God for releasing the captive!!!!!!
Pray for:
~us to be able to travel as soon as possible. Likely dates are Sept. 3rd or 10th. Would prefer the 3rd since we have dentist appointment's back here on the 28th. We will be gone at least two weeks.
~strength for packing up all that Incredible Husband, I and Elizabeth will need in two suitcases and two carry ons. Taking two suitcases that are already crammed with 130+ blankets donated by members of FBC.
~that once we get TA (hopefully Monday) our agency can easily and QUICKLY set up our consulate appointment and a guide.
~that God will provide the extra $500-$1000 for fees, as we will most likely not be traveling with a group or a very small group.
~wisdom in making travel arrangements. Airline, flights, hotel.
~wisdom on where to fly into-Guangzhou or Hong Kong. Hong Kong is cheaper, but we will have four suitcases two carryons and two personal bags to then carry on a train. Suffice it to say train travel in China is not like the US.
~we will need a soft car top carrier to help transport four carseats, two suitcases of blankets, a vacuum, luggage for seven, GF food for five, two adults and four boys to Jennifer's parents.
~and last but not least pray for Elizabeth. Her world is about to get rocked. Pray that we can show her love in a way that she understands.
Thank you for the prayers. If you have made it this far, you are a dedicated friend and prayer warrior.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

God's Timing Is Not Our Own

I was looking over our support letter that was sent out about a month ago now. In it I say that we will be traveling in 3-7 weeks. Seven weeks is Aug. 30th. Will we travel by then? No clue. Still no Travel Approval. It is 29 days (that's 4 weeks, 1 day) overdue from the "last possible time it should arrive". It is still waiting for Director Lu's signature. You know there are the Where's Waldo? games. I'm thinking of a new one. Where's Director Lu? It's about one man that holds all the power to unite a family, all you have to do is find his signature. I'm thinking of marketing it to adoption agencies worldwide. But I am afraid that the only response will be a longer delay.
It's days like today overcast, the day after a high energy day, faced with more discouraging news that I really have to lean on God for strength. WE REALLY SHOULD BE IN CHINA, RIGHT NOW! Dang it!!! Each day Elizabeth grows older, now she is 25 months old. I know our time will come- supposedly. But, when God when? Our life has been on hold for over a month now.
Fortunately, today is a good day for Mr. M. Thanking God for that!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A Little Retail Therapy

Well, since the adoption is at a standstill until China issues us our travel approval. I decided to get some deals. This is what I got from CVS. =>
I would have had to pay $8.87 cash, but used a gift card and I got $12.99 in ECB so I made $4.12!
My next stop was Walgreens. I had $10 RR from buying 8 Ragu last week. I ended up with 8 Ragu for $4.80 if you count the RR that I got. So anyway back to Walgreens this week, I had the RR and some other coupons. I ended up getting all that you see =>
I ended up paying $1.34, but got $6 in RR. So they paid me $4.66!!!!
On to Kroger where I got 2- Tide detergents, 32 loads ea., 3- Tide Stain Boosters, 1- Downy dryer sheets, 4 boxes Post Fruit/Cocoa Pebbles, 4- Snickers, 6 - Puffs Plus with Lotion and 2.14 lbs of grapes. The cost of all that, $37.34, my total savings was $38.09.
At Albertson's I got 3- French's mustard, 2- Coke 2 liters, and 2- Fresh Express Salads for a total of $6.68. Total savings $9.52.
Next was Walmart where I got enough cheese and meat to last us at least two weeks (as long I cook it :). I matched competitor adds and then had roughly $20 in coupons, my total ended up being $76.25 for 38 items. That includes 9 lbs. chicken, 2 lbs. ground turkey, 6- 12oz. pkg Kraft American singles, 4 lbs. brick cheese, 4- 8oz. pkg of shredded cheese, 2-4pk. of TP, 2- Hormel entrees, 1 gal. chocolate milk and even items that I didn't have a comp. add or coupon for- like some Bliss chocolate to indulge my ever worn nerves in.
So all told how much did I spend for a family of six for groceries "for a week". $111.49
Don't worry I don't really use that much detergent in a week. :)

Monday, August 10, 2009

The End of Day 49

Still no TA or update other than it is still waiting for the top director's signature. Our Travel Approval is now 21 days overdue. We've been waiting for that signature for at least the last week and a half. The family that got their TA on time, their daughter is even in our daughter's orphanage as well, is now enjoying their daughter.
Words cannot express the grief, frustration or any other emotion that I have right now. I know, "God has a time for everything". But that is not a balm for my breaking heart right now.
Trying to be thankful for our four blessings we already have.

Pray for this family, please
They had to leave their TB positive daughter in China.

Do You Ever Get Tired of Having Patience?

I know another packet is being delivered to our adoption agency today. Is this the day that we will get TA? It's three weeks overdue today.
On another front, we are less than $400 from having our matching grant fully funded. Praise God!!!! When I see who's donated tears come to my eyes. Thank you notes are coming, donors!
We received the disappointing news last week that we were not approved for another one of the grants we applied for. Apparently they think our monthly income should cover the cost of the adoption, what?! Did they take into account that we already have four boys? Did they look at our monthly expenditures on utilities, Gluten Free food, any of the other necessities- car insurance, homeschooling curricula, fuel for the car? Oh well, I am not fretting because that grant organization is not my provider, God is.
Thinking happy thoughts and trusting God (that's the hard one).

Friday, August 7, 2009

Will Our Travel Approval Ever Come?!

It's been 7 weeks 5 days since we got our LSC, 6 weeks 5 days since our
signed LSC arrived in China, 2 weeks and 5 days since we should have had
travel approval.
Oh where is our travel approval?!
Oh where is our travel approval?!
Oh where, Oh where, Oh where
Is our travel approval?!!!!
(sung to Larry's hairbrush song)

Monday, August 3, 2009

USCIS updated approval finally arrives

Just got our updated USCIS approval, stating that we are approved for a special needs child. It took 20 days! But I will choose not to complain. God remains in control. Come on TA, today is two weeks since you were supposed to arrive!!!!!