LOA love!

The above was my journal entry yesterday during my morning devotional time.

At 8:17am, just one hour from when I wrote the above entry, I got an email from my agency saying that they had received our LOA!!


We've received our "Letter of Acceptance" (LOA), and signed it, for our precious Tan Zhi Fu of Hubei province, soon to be Abigail Mei Robinson of Walla Walla, Washington!!!

The LOA is now on it's way, with our US paperwork, to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for processing. USCIS will send their approval to China, and then China can issue us the "Travel Approval." All of the above will take 8 to 10 weeks from now.

My guess is that we’ll be in China at the end of June or early part of July.


Blogger test for China

Hi! I won't be able to blog at my actual blogger site when we're in China (due to firewalls). But I know many people would like to follow our China and Abi adventures, and most of all, I'd like to have a record of our memories while there! So I learned a way to blog from my email directly to my blogger, so I'm testing it out! Here goes...


It has happened to us, and it has happened to nearly every adoptive couple I have met both virtually and in person (which, after three of years of being in the adoption world, is a lot of people): people say rude and insensitive things about adoption.

A child, is a child, is a child. That child is meant to be celebrated, embraced, oohed and awed over, when he or she comes into someone's family, whether it is through adoption or biological birth.

If you have not adopted, or if have children who are biologically yours and you don't have adoptive children, please consider the advice in this post. You can't imagine how hurtful the things are that people say, even it it's unintentional. Sometimes, out of lack of knowledge, or fears, or not knowing what to say, or feeling awkward, we say things that are hurtful. But that doesn't make it acceptable.

When a couple is matched with a child, it is literally a dream come true right before their eyes. There is something inside most everyone, to give our love away to a child of our own. Every time someone says something insensitive, it pokes at that dream. Please, celebrate the dream of being parents with these soon-to-be-parents. Celebrate the dream of the child to have parents!

I've posted five common things that have happened to me many times over, and I've share below what I'm thinking in my head when these questions have been asked. I don't usually say the responses I've listed below in the straight-forward way I've listed them, though I would honestly like to. Instead, I try to gently educate when I respond. But sometimes I do get irritated and say nothing at all, or give a quick, short response. Other times, I go home and cry. (Really, it's true.)

So please, consider the advice in this post and choose to be educated about adoption if you have friends or family who have adopted. Most of all, please choose to see adoption as a beautiful and amazing way to grow a family. The truth of it is this: If you're a believer of Jesus, you are first and foremost adopted. But even if you aren't a believer of Jesus, with 163 million orphans in the world, how cool is that with each adoption, that child finally has what every child deserves: parents to call their own.

1. "Are you going to feel like this child is yours?"
- What goes on in my head: "Uh, duh. I have born this child in my heart. Of course I will feel like this child is mine. Because she is. I have a bond with my husband, and we are not related, so why is it that I would need to give birth to a child in order to feel like she is mine? I sure hope you don't say this when she is home with us. That will really hurt her. We are her parents, she is our child."

2. "Oh, you're so lucky, you don't have to worry about the infant stage!"
- What goes on in my head: "Aw, those words hurt. I grieve the fact that I did not get to be with my child in her earliest days."

3. "Now that you're adopting, you'll probably get pregnant!"
- What goes on in my head: "Is that because the child we're adopting isn't as special? Is that because we don't know how to get pregnant? No, we will not get pregnant because we're adopting. We will get pregnant because sperm meets egg. Bottom line. And if we were to get pregnant, the baby would be no more special then the precious baby we have through adoption. And by the way: we aren't adopting in order to get pregnant. We're adopting because it's in our hearts to, and we can't hardly wait to wrap our arms around our special daughter."

4. "Are you planning on having your own children?"
- What goes on in my head: "This is my own child. I will have my own children, starting with Abigail Mei."

5. "Oh, that child is so lucky."
- What goes on in my head: "Please don't cast pity on my child. My child is blessed because she is loved by God. And the real truth is, we are the lucky ones."

One other thing to note:
If you have friends who are adopting, throw the parents-to-be a baby shower! Our friends threw us an incredible shower and it meant so much to us. And our church also threw us an incredible shower, which we were really blessed by. It made us feel very special, but most of all – it let us know how much they cared about, and were excited about, our soon-coming daughter.

A child, is a child, is a child! Celebrate life!

Easter fun!

We had a lovely Easter this year, celebrating the resurrection of Jesus at our amazing church, then continuing the celebration with dinner at our house with dear friends.

Easter crew! Our dear friends - Joshua, Zoey, Peter, baby Ada, Mika and Felicia. Dinner included saffron rice; coos coos with roasted pine nuts and pistachios; tagine - chicken, red potatoes, carrots and sweet onions, with freshly roasted and ground Mediterranean spices; cooked lentils with Med spices, onion and cilantro; fresh green & spinach salad with kalamata olives, grape tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, pistachios, feta and Felicia's homemade dressing; sour cherry Turkish juice, Moroccan mint tea; wine and beer. And dessert - orange Med cake with homemade whipped cream. AMAZING. GLORIOUS. INCREDIBLE.

Ada loved the food too!
Ada's darling wave.

I love this girl!

Time to go for a nice afternoon walk!

Our posse on the road.

Pondering how we're all going to buy that land, and build a community house together?

The swing was a little big for baby Ada!

Andrew trying to swing in the kiddie swing. Um, he was a little too big.


Lovely ladies!

Cutest man ever.

Go Mika!


Favorite moment of the day! Mika and the merry-go-round!

Poor Mika! I guess I should have felt bad for telling Andrew to keep going when Mika wanted him to stop. But can you blame?? Cutest face, and best laugh, EVER!

Abi's care package

I don't think I ever posted the care package we sent to our sweet girl back in early January. We included gifts for foster mom too. :) Here's all the goodies that were in the care package!

Abi's stuff is ready!

I've purchased (or received) everything on the list our agency gave us to bring for the baby girl, and I've got all of her outfits picked out too! Hopefully there will be room in the bags for mommy and daddy's clothes! :) In terms of preparing for the China trip, the only thing left to do is buy gifts for the officials. Now, if LOA would just come, all would be right in the world! :)


Nursery Love

Here is Abigail Mei's nursery!
It's a Dr. Seuss / The Lorax theme. Andrew drew everything, and we both painted it (with some help now and again from my friend, Felicia, and my in-law's - thank you!)
We started this in late December, not knowing a movie was going to come out in March!

To our precious Abi Mei: Your room is ready! We can't wait for you to be in it!
-Mommy and Daddy

Andrew, the artist!

Autumn kept me company while painting!

Trust me when I say, painting all this (and the other three walls) was no small feat.

The fabulous paint! Let the fun begin!

Andrew needs to paint the walls, and not me!

Andrew's mom made omelette's for the hard-working painters!

This is my favorite wall! I love the flower, and the bright pink Truffula tree too. The dresser will eventually be in the right corner.

A view before the crib went here.
With the crib!
A view with the "grass". :)

Andrew painted all the letters and made the back-board. (The picture makes it look like the letter are dripping, but they aren't.) :)