Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas to all!

Yes, the cat was in the tree. A tribute to Jackson who is no longer with us.

Friday, September 11, 2009

3 Years Today

Looking back on my post from September 11, 2006, it is unbelievable that it is 3 years later and here we are still waiting to be matched. At the time of log in we were told 14-16 months and that was considered a long wait at the time.
Reality is, if it continues to take 5 months to get through each month of matching then we are still over 24 months away bringing us to a grand total of 5 YEARS waiting to bring a daughter home China.
I have been very optimistic all along, where Drew has always been cautious thinking it is all unpredictable and uncertain. He is now asking me how much longer are we willing to wait, 2, 3, 5 years? We are getting older, he is losing faith and I have to say that I may be too. Where we are by January 1 will be a little better indicator if this so called "speed up" that was supposed to happen ages ago held any truth at all.
There has been talk that "March 2006 was the largest month of families waiting and once we get through them" or "the new orphanage mandatory donation fee being raised from $3000 to $5000 will enable orphanages to have more paperwork ready children" and on and on and on.
We never renewed our paperwork when it expired the first time and I am glad we did not. It would have been wasted money, as we knew, so now it's a guessing game as to what will happen next.
We are beyond fortunate to have been blessed this year with a son and for now, I am still hoping and praying that he will have that sister from China that we have been dreaming of for well over 3 years now.

3 years and counting...

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

One of Drew's many projects

Before the arrival of the baby, we are on a mission to completely clear out our house and so far we have done a great job. Countless trips to the Salvation Army have enabled us to have 3 "clutter free" bedrooms AND closets and the final stage is the garage.
Our canoe has always taken up way too much space so my husband finally came up with a creative idea to properly store it utilizing the fridge in the garage (smart I tell ya). He did a little research online and came across directions to build himself a little shelf (probably doesn't like me to call it that) but I must say it was an AWESOME idea. I don't think we will use the canoe much in the next year unfortunately so it really was worth it to gain the space.
Oh, what life would be like with a basement!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The year has come and gone :(

It is with mixed emotions that we took Jena to the airport on Saturday, June 6th. The year went by so quickly it is truly scary how quickly time passes us by as we get older. The above picture was right when she left us to go to her gate.

Jena was sad to leave yet so excited to return to her country and her family that she had not seen in 10 months. Such a HUGE thing for a 17 year old and she handled it like a champ, rarely ever showing any signs throughout the year of being homesick.

I have to say I was more emotional than I thought I would be putting her on the plane knowing how long she had to travel and the thought that we may not see her again for along time. I am confident we will keep in touch forever, and she still has high hopes of visiting us when we finally ever get to travel to China to bring our daughter home. It was a wonderful that she got to share most this pregnancy at least with her host mom, and I am certain we will meet again one day in the near future, especially if she comes back to the states during college.

We miss you Jena! Love, Drew and Nicole

Jena's going away party

We had a get together for Jena with the people/families she was close with this year one week before she left. We had pizza and cake at our clubhouse pool and it turned out really nice. Great weather and great friends all together one last time before she left us. It was actually sad realizing that a whole year had passed us by so quickly. I truly hope the contacts she made will stay with her throughout life.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Memorial Day at the Aquarium and Polynesian

That three day weekend is just what I needed! It was the first weekend in a very long time that actually felt like a weekend...the end of school is near I just know it!
Saturday we took Jena to the last place on her Tampa sightseeing list which was the Aquarium. We had a great time and then we treated ourselves to a yummy lunch at Sweet Tomatoes which was also a first for Jena and of course she LOVED it. Food+soup/salad buffet - the kid was in heaven.

Monday we drove to Orlando to see Drew's brother, wife and the kids. Since it was Memorial Day weekend, they chose to hang around the resort that day and save the park hopping for Tuesday when there was hopefully less crowds. We relaxed at the pool at the Polynesian for most of the afternoon so it was very nice. Only thing that would have made it better was if we stayed there 2-3 nights ourselves and not come back to Tampa for work.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Jena's exciting adventure

Last weekend Jena had her final visit with the exchange student area reps.
She has had to have 3 overnight visits throughout the school year and they have always done really fun things with the girls.
This past weekend they went to Arabian Nights in Orlando and then horseback riding on Sunday. Her and Lina, the Colombian exchange student, had a wonderful time and I am so glad she had this opportunity.

Monday, May 18, 2009

FCC Tampa Luncheon last week

I was lucky to be able to attend our local Families with Children from China luncheon this past Saturday. We had not been since October and I probably won't make it again for quite some time.
Most of the families we are acquainted with were there and Amy and Greg announced their referral for their son, Tyler and now they are waiting to travel to bring him home. Michelle and Neil also introduced their new daughter Phoebe who has just come home recently from Taiwan.
Drew had class and Jena had overnight plans so unfortunately they missed out. Jena just loves seeing the precious children just come home, especially when they are from Taiwan.

All the girls...Michelle and Chloe, Treena and Jemma (who is now walking). I am holding Phoebe, Chloe's new little sister.

Jemma entertaining her new friend Phoebe

Group photo including Kip and Neil.