Thursday, December 27, 2012

A REAL reality show...

It's all too real to me now.

This is the ribbon we, as a group
chose to identify ourselves
The site where every and all my good
info comes from. Lots of BTDT moms
some going back for the 4th and 5th times.
I've begun to tie the requisite ribbon onto our suitcase handles. This ribbon is what our DTC (dossier to China) group decided we'd use to identify ourselves to each other once we landed in Guangzhou (GZ) so that if any of us were blessed enough to end up there at the same time we'd recognize each other and be able to give real hugs instead of virtual ones. I joined the DTC Spring-Summer group back in May feeling like I'd never be at this point but knowing it would happen in a blink of an eye.

A little "happy" for Asa, a 2 1//2 yr old
son of a new friend who will come home from
Elli's orphanage in February.
Add to her clothes, gift bags for all the gifts
that we give to all the people that have
in any way aided in our adoption process
I had, weeks ago, with Kate, laid out the clothing I was going to take for Elli. Then I changed my mind, and changed is again. I have decided that it's time to just pack it up and be happy with what I've chosen. There are only so many hours in a day to obsess over clothing and especially over clothing of a 5 year old who probably wore many of the same outfits over and over again and none of which were ever hers to possess to begin with. She will be delighted with any of it and all of it. There are only a few toys in the suitcase because they have Walmart and other stores there where we will take her to pick out a few things on her own. After all, she may never have had a chance to pick out anything for herself... EVER!
Of course she has a "Bama" shirt... the National Championships
will be played while we are over there... at 8:30 in the morning! :)

Rx and OTC... now to break them all down
into suitcase ready samples.
I have to gather together a list of medicines we need to take as well. The most important being Ambien and Melatonin. We would appreciate as much sleep as is pharmacologically possible. There are other important meds to take and thankfully we have a wonderful doctor committed to making sure we have everything we need.

There's also the trip to the bank to get the money we need in brand new crisp bills. Yes, they need to be new and crisp without writing or creases...  this is a big deal. We want to make sure they take our money.

One of many that will be taken to
alleviate the pain and boredom
of hours and hours and hours on a
plane or in an airport.
Then there is the corralling of the electronic devices. They are being summoned from near and far. When the speculation becomes fact - that we will fly out of Jackson, MS at 5pm on the 3rd and arrive in Haikou City (Elli's province city) at 5pm on the 5th even a cheapskate like the Gman will begin to consider what other electronic devices might need to be purchased to ease the hours of sitting on and off airplanes. Our flight from Atlanta, GA to Seoul, Korea alone will be 14.5 hours. I figured we'd spend between 12 and 15 hours just in layovers... hmmmm maybe adding a bit more to our debt load doesn't sound so bad. Or, better yet, promising that whatever else we get can be birthday, valentines, mother's day, anniversary... for the next 2 years...

The little blue present is Elli's
from Aunt Sandy. Can't wait
til she opens it.
We have to have this little guy
taken care of for two weeks.
Of course there are a lot of other aspects to planning for this trip. Like taking down all the Christmas decor. Sure, with us leaving on the third of January we could get away with leaving it all up but I really don't want to return, exhausted, on the 17th and face the reality of having to put it all away. So, my usual December 26th and 27th pack up will commence shortly. Something I'm not looking forward to. My mom is usually here to help me pack up. She and my stepdad Don usually fly in on Christmas day and fly out on New Year's day or the day after. This year, they chose to stay in Ohio with my brother. His wife is dying of ovarian cancer, she's only 43. She's on Hospice care right now and in a lot of pain. She's virtually bed-ridden and I know her well enough to know that besides the great amount of pain she is in, she is absolutely HATING being stuck in the bed. I love them and I hate that I am so many miles away. I cannot stop in whenever to say hi, to help out, to read to her to talk to her, to take my nephew and niece someplace fun just to get away. I cannot do anything for them, but pray. Praying is big. We have been praying for years. It's been hard for the kids to see God choose not to answer their prayers but this world being what it is, sin being sin, and the fall being the fall... we all have to realize that things are not always going to work out the way we would like. Trusting Him is still what we need to do, no matter what things may look like to us - His lens is a whole lot bigger than ours.

So, I will push on toward a goal that I am completely unfamiliar with; except for one thing, there is a little girl who needs a mama to love her unconditionally and forever and THAT is something I am very familiar with. Please pray for us as we venture forth into unknown wilderness excited to see what God has for us but hesitant in a way because of the unknowns. Trust and Obey, there is no other way... so, so true...

Amazing Love, Amazing Grace... He's all we need and He will give us all that we need to be the mama and papa  and sister and brothers that Elli Hope needs. Here we come sweetheart... it won't be long now.

Here are some fun things that Elli will see when she gets home:

Kate made Elli her own
mosaic "E" hanging above
her lightswitch.

I thought she was too cute
to pass up.

He knew the plans he had for her and for us
long before we had any idea. 

"Hope" in Chinese.
This is something she
never had.

Drew took this picture when Kate was
3, she is in the bottom corner, It's hanging
just above her bed.

I have a feeling she will
put her jewelry hanger to
I made this for her bows.
It appears she will have
quite a lot to choose from
There cannot be too much of this
in our home. I hope to hear a lot
of it.

Kate is graciously sharing EVERYTHING.
Her favorites are Sock Monkeys. 
A gift from a dear friend.
This sweet picture was taken
by a friend from college
when I was pregnant with Drew
over 20 years ago. I have put it
in every child's room ever since.

Waiting patiently for
a playmate.
She has no idea...


We are hoping for a lot of these for precious Elli Hope.
We'll be home on January 17th for her first
night in her forever home with her forever family.


  1. Karen I am so excited for y'all I can hardly stand it!! Praying for God's covering of grace the whole trip, as He goes before you ... and is your rear guard as well! I pray for Elli as she waits and for her as she leaves EVERYTHING familiar to her. There will be some grieving at some point...maybe weeks after she is home, so don't feel discouraged when it happens. She is coming to a loving home of safety and hope she just doesn't know it yet! Can't wait to see pictures of her with her Forever Family! Love you all!

  2. Love seeing all these sweet/beautiful "trinkets." They illustrate an AMAZING love story.

    1. Lisa,
      Did you notice the rocking chair that the elephant is on and the ceramic cross?