Saturday, November 28, 2009

Shopping on Black Friday in China

*Hello everyone! You will find Monte & Missy's Thanksgiving post below this one.*

Oddly enough we spent the Friday after Thanksgiving visiting a shopping mall and market square in China. However, there were not any huge Black Friday sales! We thought we were going to a park again, so we were a little disappointed to be going to a shopping mall instead. It was another shared first experience, though.

This picture is of Daddy and Abby as she plays on her bed. She loves to have all of her belongings around her. She pretty much entertains herself, but she loves for us to play too.

This picture is of Mommy and Abby at the market square. Abby was a little nervous in this environment. There were lots of people around and a lot of action going on.

This last picture is of Abby playing in the afternoon - again with all of her stuff around her on her bed. Missy had just put a bunch of clips in Abby's hair - she loved them, but her hair was still too short for the clips to stay for very long.

Thanks for letting us share our day with you and thank you for your prayers!

Monte & Missy

A Day to Give Thanks

We did miss family and turkey this Thanksgiving, but home is with Abigail - so for now that is China.

The day started with a very traumatic visit to the medical clinic for the formality of a medical exam that all adoptive children must have before they can travel to the U.S. Because Abigail is 5 she must also have a TB test before she can travel. It was a morning of fear and many tears. Please pray with us for her fear of doctors - that the Lord would give her peace and strength. It is clear that she has many bad memories of those 3 months alone in the hospital earlier this year. The Father has created her with such a strong determination...she is very resilient. There will be many Dr visits when we get home, so please keep praying for her and us. We had Pizza Hut instead of turkey dinner! It is a bit fancier here...many eating choices on the menu. We're fairly certain that Abby had her first ice cream - it was very funny :) We have a hilarious video of it that we will have to try to post when we get home.

We started praying that the Lord would bring us together with our Chinese daughter for Thanksgiving 2008 soon after our paperwork arrived in China in Oct 2007. When that didn't happen we were a little unsure of the timing to pray for next. We began praying that we would know her when we saw her as we joined the Waiting Child Program with our agency America World. And know her we did when we saw her beautiful face in May of this year! We obviously didn't want to pray for Thanksgiving but rather for travel at the end of the summer, but the Lord had other plans. When we prayed for Thanksgiving 2008 it was because the Lord had impressed upon on us what a blessing our daughter would be to us - not just us to her. Now it is most fitting to know her on this Thanksgiving - that even through her illness she is such a great JOY and truly a blessing - not at all a burden to care for her. We have so VERY much to be thankful for this year! We are thankful that Jesus brought us together with our Abigail (we chose the name because it means father's joy - and she definitely brings us GREAT JOY)!

We are thankful for Rosa as our guide - it is clear that she cares deeply for the children and for their families. We are thankful for Abigail's caregivers - they obviously loved her well. We are thankful for our family and friends at home in the U.S. that are praying for us and our little girl. And most all, we are thankful for Jesus coming to this earth, dying on the cross in our place, and rising again. We are thankful that He offers us grace and adopts us into His family!

Love - Missy

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Sightseeing in Abby's Hometown

After a buffet style breakfast (btw, Abigail is a great eater), we headed out to see some of Abby's hometown of Guangzhou. It is a major city - the capital of the Guangdong Province. Millions of people live here. We visited one of the largest parks here. Rosa (our guide - who is wonderful in so many ways!) told us that Guangzhou has 50 parks. This particular park had a playground/amusement park. We were excited to find some things that Abigail could play on...we found ourselves wondering how long it had been since she had been to play in a park. She had a great time and was tired enough to take a nap after we ate some McDonald's in our hotel room!

We had an extremely quick "interview" for the adoption that afternoon. Then we visited the Memorial Hall, which is built in memory of a doctor that founded the democratic revolution here in China to overthrow the emperor. We ended the day with an evening meal in a Japanese steakhouse here in our hotel. It wasn't quite the same as back home - we'll have to explain more later. Thank you for your comments, emails, and most of all for your prayers. We can't wait for everyone to meet our precious Abby :)

Happy Day Before Thanksgiving to you guys - it's Thanksgiving Day here!


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

T-Shirt Fundraiser for Abigail!

Hey everyone, it's Jill! I can't even describe how excited I am for Monte & Missy right now...what a wonderful Thanksgiving this will be for their family of 3! God is so good!! I was more than happy to post for them while they are away and think the post below is a very important one. I think it's an awesome idea and a wonderful way that we can all help with Abigail's medical expenses, once she is back in the States with her Daddy & Mommy. So please read the post below and if possible - order a t-shirt. It's going to help a precious little girl! :) Can't wait to meet you, Abigail!!

We met this wonderful family - The Ambrose Family - at an adoption conference that we went to a few weeks ago. They own Adoption Bug. They make some really awesome adoption t-shirts. They also help other families by setting up a fundraiser site for their adoption. They rushed to get ours set up before we left and then we ran out of time before we left to send everyone the info.

So, here's how it works: We chose 4 different t-shirt designs. They are not all specifically about adoption so that anyone could be interested in them. There is a really cool one that says Faith, Hope, and Love in Chinese and English. We receive a portion of each sale to help pay any adoption and medical fees. We have read that one way to create a bond with a child is to where matching shirts. The 3 of us have the Blessed By Adoption shirt to wear on our flight home. We are ordering the others we have on our site to have when we return. How marvelous would it be for Abigail to see others wearing the same shirt and feel a bond to a much larger family! And for your own family it would be a bonding experience as well.

So, please visit - take a look and maybe even make a purchase.

Thank for your support of love and prayers! Though we cannot read our blog or get on facebook, we are receiving your comments in email and they are most encouraging to us...THANK YOU :)

Gotcha Day and Adoption Finalized!

Monday was the day we met Abigail.

Monte's description seems appropriate - there was much weeping and gnashing of teeth as we left the meeting place. She was excited and received us well while her nannies were there. We've decided that the set up at the Civil Affairs office is not the best venue for meeting. As children see other children get upset it is like a chain reaction. Our Abigail didn't get upset until we were leaving the building. It broke our hearts to see her's breaking at the loss of her nannies - who obviously loved her very much. Once in our hotel room, it wasn't long until Veggie Tales Silly Songs dvd had her calmed down and even liking us again!

We also found that she loved the Signing Times dvds that Heather bought us! She has already begun picking up many signs and English words...she's one smart cookie :) Today we had to return to the Civil Affairs office to finalize the adoption. They asked the question - are you satisfied with this child? YES, of no doubt about it! Two busy days down...a little more relaxing tomorrow - sightseeing around Abigail's hometown.

One last thing, thank you for your prayers and please continue to pray for the 3 of us. Especially for Abigail - it seems that she is afraid to sleep. She woke many times last night whimpering, and today at nap time she began to cry.

Thank you!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The LORD Moved That TA Mountain!!!

The LORD is Good! He is Good as we wait. He is Good when He answers differently than we ask, and He is Good when He answers with exactly what we ask for!

We received official Travel Approval (TA) from China yesterday morning! We will be headed to China this week! We'll meet Abigail on Monday (Sunday evening TX time)!

We are a little overwhelmed with what we have to get done before we leave, but oh so excited! Thank you for your prayers! We are so grateful that God chose to act now and answer those prayers by doing just what we asked! It truly has been a miracle to see things unfold as they have in such critical timing. Even with our paperwork being delayed in Anchorage and then Japan last week, China approved our TA in just the right time! Only the One True God could orchestrate such a turn of events...and all of the glory is His!

We aren't sure if we will be able to post to this blog while in China, so we're working on some other ideas. If you've been to China and blogged while there, any advice would be most helpful...we're looking for the least expensive option??? :) We will email if nothing else, and then post when we return.

We humbly ask that you continue to lift Abigail and us to the Father in prayer. Here are some of our specific prayer requests:
  • Healing for Abigail
  • Bonding and attaching with our Abigail
  • Safe travel to China and back
  • Abigail's province to set earlier appointments for paperwork processing so that we can get her home sooner
  • Monte's knee to heal and recover full range of motion - he's prepared to be miserable during travel to meet his little girl :)

Monday, November 9, 2009

Praying for a Miracle

We received an update of Abigail's health last Wednesday - however, it didn't tell us much - it was dated back from April. Apparently she developed this illness in April and was treated until around June/July. So, we still have many unanswered questions around what is happening to her.

Our agency requested us to compile a list of questions from our doctors and from us. They felt that because the update was from April that there was grounds to request more info. So, our list of questions was sent to the orphanage on Thursday of last week. We received answers to those questions today. However, these answers still do not tell us much.

America World asked us to collect some documents today - and they will send our RA back to China tomorrow - which begins the process of waiting for TA (Travel Approval). So, here is where praying for the miracle comes in. Our Father moves mountains and He has loved our daughter before we even knew her. He holds the three of us in His mighty hand. We are asking Him to move this TA mountain and take us to our little girl and get her the care she needs. Will you join with us in praying for a miracle for our Abigail?