Tuesday, July 31, 2007


After a meeting about both us and the other family waiting, our agency has decided to go ahead and ask for an update on our cases. Hopefully we'll have an answer this week as to whether or not things are progressing as they should or if there is a problem. Our agency is still hoping for our LOA soon and told us that it could come before any information came from CCAA. At least things are moving. We are hoping for confirmation that China is just dragging their feet and that nothing is wrong. That way we know to pray to make some feet get a movin!

Meet Alex!

Our good friends are in China right now and I just couldn't resist posting the gotcha day photo of their newest addition, Alex. He and Caleb are only a month apart and will be spending lots of time together since their big sisters are best buddies. What a precious look!

The Plan

I've called our agency this morning and they seem to think that we'll be in the next batch since our loi (letter of intent) was the latest of all those logged in on our day. If we aren't, then they will check to see what is going on. The likelihood of there being another batch this week is not all that great so we're probably looking at next week. Which means that travel in August is pretty much a no go and that also means that Caleb will spend one more birthday without us.
As to how I'm doing with all this, well, I've decided that it is what it is and while I don't like it, I'm going to get as much done as I can in the time we are waiting. So bedrooms are getting gutted today and I WILL be caught up with my scrapbooks by the end of next week. We will plan on starting school the 20th so hopefully we'll have a couple of weeks in before we travel.
I'm just clinging to Jeremiah 29:11 right now for Caleb and for us.

Monday, July 30, 2007


I wish I had some profound words to say right now but I don't. I am just numb. I want to cry but I'm almost past that now. I just found out that the other family that was logged in 4/19 with us who was still waiting got their LOA today. We got nothing. We have now been skipped 3 times and I"m starting to get angry. This mama bear has had enough. My little boy needs to be home!

Another Week...

So starts another week. All the boys are off to camp, Anna is at dance camp and I have a long list of things I desperately want to get done this week. Of course one of them is to sign and return an LOA - we'll have to wait to see if that happens.
Day 102 and counting.....

Friday, July 27, 2007

It's Official :(

Yep, we'll be part of the Century Club. I've never gotten upset about any big birthday yet but this milestone is hitting me hard. On top of it, someone visited Caleb's orphanage and took lots of pictures but Caleb wasn't there. I guess he's still in foster care. But it is very hard to celebrate with others who are getting LOAs, TAs, updates and such when the desert is very dry here. I am happy for them but it feels like the world is screaming past us and we are just in this big black hole with no information, no answers. If I at least knew what was going on, was assured that Caleb is doing well in foster care, the wait would be a bit more bearable I think. God is really making me rely COMPLETELY on Him with this and it is a bit uncomfortable. Not that I don't think He can handle it; I just don't like being out of the loop :)

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Feed the Turtle!

My sister seems to think that feeding the ticker turtle will make him go faster. Anyone know what to feed cyber turtles? I'm open to all suggestions :)

Post script - She today suggested that we let Sarah (aka Ms. Bossy Pants) get a hold of the turtle and tell him what he is supposed to be doing and to speed things up. She is quite qualified for the job but unfortunately I"m not sure China is listening....

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Century Club

It is very exclusive. Only a few can claim membership. Problem is, nobody wants to be part of it. Unless our LOA comes tomorrow or Friday, we will become official members of the Century Club - those who have waited over 100 days for an LOA. I never dreamed this would be us-everyone else we know has gotten theirs in less than 90 days in the past several months. I'm still running on God's peace here but it still makes me sad - sad to think that my little guy is waiting, and waiting and waiting. After my kids get their shots on the 6th, we will have EVERYTHING we need to hop on a plane. Except of course for an LOA and TA. I know we aren't alone in our membership (which kind of makes me sadder to think other kids are having to wait too) - my prayers go out to the others who are part of this exclusive club.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Vacation Pics

Thought I'd lighten the mood and post a few pictures from our vacation to
Emerald Isle, NC. We had a great time and will definitely go back again.

The whole crowd of "pirates" at our visit to historic Beaufort.

What's a trip to the beach without a game of putt putt?!

A chance to help

Have you had the thought that you'd love to help an orphan but haven't felt led (yet :) ) to adopt? Well, this is your chance! There is a dear family who is adopting a little girl from Caleb's orphanage. The Smiths have grown children and were devastated by Katrina last year. Despite this, they obeyed God's call to go forward with the adoption of a little girl Katie. She has the sweetest pigtails and the cutest little pouty face you've ever seen! They have their TA in hand but some money that had been promised has not come through. They are $4500 short. If they do not get the money, it is quite possible that they will not be able to complete Katie's adoption, not only devastating them but also quite possibly ending Katie's chance for adoption. If you would like to help bring this little girl home to this sweet family, please check out the blog that has been set up with donation information and a silent auction. You can also see pictures of Katie's sweet face! The blog is http://www.helpbringkatiehome.blogspot.com/.
If you've read my long post from the other day, this family is certainly doing this through His Spirit! How awesome to be part of His work!

Visas are here!

Yeah! We got our visas! We found out that the fee is doubling (!) on August 1 so we are grateful that we got this little task done. We are thankful to Bill for taking them downtown - he saved me a headache trip with 4 kids :) Now if we could just get those 2 other silly peices of paperwork... The good news is that noone else at our agency has gotten one yet this week so we're still hoping to be in this next batch.

Monday, July 23, 2007

A Long Week (and a Long Post...)

They (whoever "they" are) say that hindsight is 20/20. I also know that some lessons in life are harder to learn than others. I feel like God has been working me over this week. After a week full of Ken suffering with something going on with his neck, no shows for a closet installation, colds and other frustrations, I was surprised that the daily things were really frustrating me and I found myself on edge. I realized that being skipped for our LOA really had effected more than I realized. Then I found out that someone who had been logged in with us got their TA and are leaving next week, all while we haven't even gotten our LOA yet (don't think Tonya that I'm not happy for you - I really am! I just really wanted to be traveling with you :) ) So, I found myself, "Ms. Stable", on the verge of a breakdown. Little stuff was bothering me, stuff that normally doesn't get me worked up. It has forced me to face the ugly truth - I really like being in control. I"m fine as long as things are rolling along as they are supposed to. I can even be flexible as long as it isn't something that is terribly important to me, say, like the health of my youngest child.
Fast forward to Sunday morning. Our class is combined with another class for Sunday school and they happened to be studying Zechariah. I'm grumpy because I've had to get 4 kids to church by myself, I've been gone for 2 Sundays and I know that everyone is going to ask about our adoption and if we've heard anything and knowing that I get to do nursery by myself. Yes, I was feeling pretty sorry for myself. So it took awhile for God to break through. But finally He did and when I left that class, I knew why we haven't traveled yet for Caleb, even though it isn't fair and doesn't make sense.
Zechariah 4:6 says "...Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit says the Lord." God was telling Zechariah that Zerubbabel would rebuild the temple with a group of unskilled, poor folks who were not huge in number. In other words, everyone would know that it was only God who could have accomplished such a feat. Then the light bulb came on. We were never really stretched when it came to Sarah's adoption. Sure we had a few frustrations with incompetent government people (no this is not a blanket statement - my dad is retired from the fed govt!) but overall, we never really had to dig very deep. The reality is, while 5 kids is a bunch, we have lots of support, the financial means and overall, we could "do" this on our own (even if the initial idea wasn't ours :) ). I think that God wants us and others to look at Caleb being brought home (and kept safe until then) as something that only He could do. Not by might (determination), nor by power (financial ability) but by His Spirit says the Lord. Caleb will come home and God will do it. And when Caleb hears the story of how he found his forever family, there will be no doubt in his mind that God had his hand on this all along.
I still ache to hold my little boy. I still pray for his health to hold up until we can bring him home and get him the medical attention he needs and deserves. But I am not as frantic about it. I am confident that God is using this process and Caleb's little life to be honored. That He is wanting our story to be one that others hear and know that it wasn't us, but God. I am humbled that He would chose to use us this way and it has given me a renewed sense of peace.
So, I ask that you pray for us to glorify God in this process. Continue to pray for Caleb's health and for all the details of travel to fall together. My heart's desire is still to have him in our arms on his birthday (Sept 8). Yet I know that God has a plan and I want to graciously be part of that, not doing it kicking and screaming.

Friday, July 20, 2007

God's Word on the Subject

"Pour out your heart like water before the face of the Lord. Lift your hands toward Him for the life of your young children." Lamentations 2:19
Excuse me now. I have some pouring of my heart to work on....

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Technology is our friend!

Not long ago, our laptop began doing bad things. Ok, not anything illegal or imoral but sending us nasty messages and starting to die a slow and painful death. We had a friend who volunteered to replace our hard drive and install some more memory. It is like a brand new computer! I"m thrilled with my "new" laptop - thank you Mark!


Just wanted to say thanks to all of you who have emailed and commented in support and prayer for us and Caleb. I won't lie - this has really stunk! I haven't felt very good on top of it all (summer colds are the worse) and I did have the urge to shoot the turtle this morning when I saw it on the 3 month mark. But the turtle has been spared and I am continuing to pray about my attitude and allowing God to work here. Next week is VBS -maybe a room full of 11 and 12 year olds will jump start me out of this funk (or drive me over the edge :) )....

Monday, July 16, 2007


LOAs came to our agency today for folks logged in after us but ours wasn't there. Evidently we aren't alone. There are several families who are waiting along with us with the same log in date or close to it so our agency isn't alarmed that it is something with our individual case. They are seeing a trend in CCAA jumping around a bit and not necessarily going in order. We're still hoping that another batch will come sometime this week with the rest of us. It has been a discouraging last couple of weeks on the adoption front for sure!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

The not so virtuous woman

Ok, I knew I'd get your attention with that title :) After a LONG ride home (with one of the worst fast food experiences ever - more on that one later), we're partly unpacked, everyone else is in bed and I'm finding myself getting more on edge. I've always heard that patience is a virtue. Well, I'm not feeling very virtuous any more. Vacation is over. I'm ready to go to China NOW. We got our brown envelope from the US Consulate in Guangzhou with all the paperwork we need for our consulate appt. We just need to get this stinking LOA so we can get our TA so we can get on a plane and go get our boy! We're on Day 87 of this wait and quite frankly, I'm over it. Keep praying for our Caleb but also pray for the rest of the kids and Ken - I'm afraid I'm turning into the grumpy mama bear!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Fun in the Sun

Greetings from NC! We've been enjoying a week at the beach despite thunderstorms, bloody faces (just Gareth fighting the surf - don't panic Cindy!), sea sickness and meeting nice local cops while cleaning up throw up. Yep, it's a week with the Weikels. Here are some pictures to keep you entertained....

Shark fishing with the boys and Ken and Gareth. Even with Dramamine, we had a couple of bouts of sea sickness and no sharks. Because of an earlier storm, they experienced 8-10 ft swales - not as much fun as they had hoped...

Our sunbathing beauties (well sort of...)

More pictures to come tomorrow - and no, we haven't gotten our LOA yet but thanks for all who have asked :)

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Sweet Suprises

Last night I was reminded of the sweet fellowship of my Christian friends! They threw a surprise shower for Toni and I! We had a great time of learning Mandarin (well, finding out we don't know much Mandarin...), sharing stories and prayers for our families, new little boys and those others who are also in the midst of adding to their families through adoption. It is such a blessing to feel the love, prayers and support of others who truly care. Thank you guys for your generous gifts and more importantly, generous hearts!

Friday, July 6, 2007

A line from Rudolph...

Do you remember Yukon Sam from Rudolph? "lick, lick, lick, awww, nothin..."
Licking our pick ax (sp?) and tastin "nothin...."

Pyros United

Have you noticed that everything about July 4th has to do with fire? BBQs, fireworks, heat like Hades... I've added a few photos from our annual celebration. This year we had about 70 people to our house and then some of us headed to a nearby town to watch the fireworks. The weather was perfect - low 80s and a bit overcast. Strong storms blew through DC and they had to evacuate the Mall but we just heard rumbles of thunder and enjoyed a breeze. Hope you all enjoyed your July 4 as much as we did - we are grateful to all those who have paid the ultimate price for our freedom and that we live in a country where we can worship freely and can participate in our government.
Ken always gets up around 6:30 AM to start the grilling for our big crowd. His smoked pork butts are always a huge hit!Some of the hungry crowd - we had enough food to feed a small army!!Some of the boys -we enjoyed the ice cream man and sparklers...

Waiting for the fireworks to start....

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Nope, still nothing

I called our agency today to update our info while we are away and nothing has come in today. I'm sure now it will come next week while we're on vacation and searching for a FedEx location...it is the Weikel Way. We don't do things the easy way....

Sunday, July 1, 2007

A Father's Love

Some of you know that we've gotten some tough news from someone who saw Caleb awhile back that he did not look as healthy as we would like. It has taken a couple of days to digest this info and we've been overwhelmed by the prayer support and encouragement that we've gotten from so many. We've had a real peace about Caleb and a renewed sense of urgency about getting him home. Last night I had a dream about him and this morning during service I found myself thinking a lot about my little guy. Not so much worried but just really wanting to be able to hold him, for him not to suffer or be sick. Today was the Lord's Supper and God spoke to me. I realized that He knows what it is like for a parent to be physically separated from their son while their child is suffering. Then I realized that I'm responsible for His son's suffering. So, while I wait (not so patiently :) ) to hold little Caleb in my arms and to help ease his suffering and sadness, I know that God the Father is holding me, his child because of the suffering that His son endured on my behalf. Thank you Father for that Abba Daddy love!

This is recreation?

I think most normal people consider going to a movie to be relaxing and a recreational type activity. After yesterday, I beg to differ. I took my three youngest to see Ratoutuille (ok, I'm sure I didn't spell that one right but I've NEVER taken French...). Sarah fell asleep in the car on the way to the movie - not a good thing. She is like a zombie - the living dead. While the awake part of her (which is deeply buried) is thrilled to go to the movies, the asleep part of her is like a very wet, very heavy rag doll. I manage to carry her into the theater (after buying our tickets with one hand) and then the drama of snacks begins. This is where movie theaters make their money. After purchasing enough snacks for a small army, we realize that Sarah's favorite flip flop is nowhere to be found. The little mommy voice tells me it is probably outside in the parking lot but I know I can't tote 3 kids, 4 drinks, popcorn, my purse, a still semi conscious preschooler and my sanity back to the car. So, instead, I place our happy family into the theater and leave the girls under the watchful eye of their big brother. A quick look at my watch tells me we have 8 minutes - plenty of time to retrieve the flip flop (which is on the ground next to the car) and do the pre movie potty trip which is necessary with little girls. Unbeknownst to me however, the kid running the movie has not passed the telling time unit in math and starts the movie early. So I get to stumble back into the theater without the trip to the potty in the pitch dark. Anna promptly looses the lid to her drink and the first bathroom trip with Sarah occurs just minutes into the movie. We got to visit that bathroom two other times, dumped over the open drink when returning from the bathroom and all the while listen to Sarah happily creaking in her seat that is waaay to big for her. Ahhh relaxation.....
After the movie it then took us 20 minutes to purchase 4 items at the grocery store (complete with 2 more trips to the bathroom and another temporary loss of said flip flop). By the time I got home, I so wished that I had a little fairy that did dinners for me. But alas, she was nowhere to be found. And so ended my relaxing trip to the movies. Next time I think I'd rather stay home and scrub toilets (but my kids wouldn't have as much fun :) ).