Saturday, December 29, 2007

My Children and Their Facination with Shoes...

I think it is strange. My children have a fascination with shoes. We even subscribe to a shoe magazine... not a catalogue ... but a real genuine magazine that is all about shoes! I remember when I was young having one pair of "tennis shoes" and one pair of dress shoes. When they became too small, we would get more. One of the greatest days of my life (ok... this was from the perspective of a 6th grader) was when my mom bought me an "extra" pair of shoes called YoYos... remember those? They were tall and had a hole in the heal... I was so COOL! I guess the apples don't really far too far from the tree!

Funny ~ we learned that Lilli AnHui loves shoes too! How great is that!!!

What sizes do I need to buy... all the way from a baby size 8 for Lilli to a men's size 15 for Joey!!!

LOA Still in Transit ... Working on Quilt Squares to Pass the Time

What more can happen???? We waited so long for LOA and in transit... it remained in Seattle for a day or so because of a ice/snow storm. Hopefully it is now back in transit and on it's way down under.

Meanwhile, to help pass the time, I have been working on my 100 Good Wishes Quilt square swaps! You can read more about our 100 Good Wishes Quilt and learn how to help us with it by visiting (password: lillian). Some photos of my hard (but enjoyable) work are above... now I just have to mail them all! :)

Thursday, December 27, 2007

LOA and New Pictures... It's like Christmas all over again!

On day 116 of our LOA wait... it CAME!!!! We are so close to scooping up our little girl! Our agency says it is quite possible for us to arrive in China on the 11th of February and meet Lilli AnHui on the 14th... meeting our newest little sweetheart on Valentines Day... WOW!!!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Pictures can say it all...

Enjoy some photos of our Christmas Morning... and a birthday shot of Abby I call Pure Joy... had to include it!!! Just had to!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas

To our family and friends ~ We want to wish you all a Merry Christmas. We hope the light of the season shines for you and your day is truly blessed!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Joey is Home!!!

... but his luggage is not! A scheduled arrival at 9:35am yesterday ended as a 5:00pm touch down at the Canberra Airport for one very tired 16 year old! He described his trip as the best ever... trying desperately to fill us in on every little detail! We are so glad that he was able to make this journey! Somehow he came back home a little taller, a little smelly, and it seems a whole lot more grown up than when he left!

He took an hour long shower and changed into his new LSU t-shirt (thanks nanny and papa) and in a semi-daze, ate dinner and let us celebrate his birthday! Then it was straight to bed.

He woke up at 4:30am... and will probably not make it much past 4:30 this afternoon.

Holly has decided this is great as he will be able to wake everyone up really early Christmas morning!

It sure does feel great having him back in the nest... I really don't know how I will cope when he leaves for University in 2 short years...

To My Pink Lady Friends...

Ladies...I know our LOAs are coming soon... Until then... I salute you all! The waiting is such a hard part of the adoption journey... and when it is lengthened by human error... it is so much worse! But they ARE coming and we will all be in China with our little ones very soon!!! Cheers!!! Rebel

Saturday, December 15, 2007

New Picture

We just received a new picture of Lilli that was taken on Tuesday. Thank you Sandy for knowing that we needed this!!! And thanks for taking such great care of our little one until we get to Xian!!! Lilli ~ and all the other Xian children (and families)~ are so lucky to have you!!!

90 Years...

They say it takes 90 years to replace the trees needed to create one box of Kleenex. Well today, I have to say that I used 180 years worth of trees.

Our LOA ~ Letter of Acceptance ~ did not arrive today. Not only did it not arrive today, our agency was able to track down the problem. There are 12 families affected by a paperwork issue. Our Dossiers (paperwork) were the first to be "Logged In" under the new system of the Chinese Government and lets just say things did not go swimmingly.

So, the Judge family as well as 11 other families have all passed the crucial Review Step, our LOAs are printed... they are just being held "hostage" until the paperwork problems can be cleared up. Enter CHI... a representative of our agency will be on a plane ~ destination CCAA Office, Beijing to clear up this issue next week. We are all in hopes that she will be able to hand carry the dozen very important LOAs back to the US.

Bottom line... first we thought we would be with Lilli for her 3rd birthday in September... paperwork problem... ok, we will be with Lilli for Christmas... paperwork problem... now, January travel seems impossible, and as we are not allowed to travel for a week on either side of Chinese New Year, the reality has set in that we will be traveling to meet Lilli AnHui the last 2 weeks of February.
The rollercoaster that we call the journey to adoption.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Email from Joey

Joey is in the United States. He departed the 4th of December with his school basketball team and coaches for a 3 week tour of the West Coast and Canada. On the itinerary was a mix of playing basketball, watching basketball (pro and university) and sightseeing. Lots of fun! And lots to write about...

I received an email from Joey today. He saw snow and bought a new pair of basketball shoes... Air Force 25's ! End of email. What????? Oh yes, they have had waffles for breakfast at all their hotels and his Aussie friends like waffles... but yes... that was the end of the email. So I guess, as long as he is able to buy Nikes... he is fine.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

4 years ago ....

Abby was born.

No words I could write could describe what a blessing this little girl is...

So I will simply say...

Abby we love you to the moon and back a million times!!!

We joined the Century Club today...

... and it is not a membership that we greeted with joy. We have officially been waiting for our LOA for 100 days.

Such a joyous season with so many reasons to be overflowing with happiness, yet today, I let myself just be sad.

I do (as I always do) hold out hope that we will receive the much anticipated document tomorrow.

Until then, I simply wait for mail....

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Hoping for Average...

Average. An interesting word that has my hopes peaked for the next 24 hours. Why? Because based on the "averages", we should receive the very important "LOA" or Letter of Acceptance today!

This is the "third to last official document" needed before we fly to China.

It is actually a bit surreal as it is a letter from the Chinese Government that we have to sign to say that after all the time and paperwork that we still "desire" to formally adopt Lilli!

YES... YES... YES... I promise ~ I could shout it loud enough for the Chinese Government to hear all the way from here!

We are all so smitten with our little Lilli... it is time for her to come home!

All Decorated...

Thanksgiving was a wonderful day... except for the fact that I broke 3 teeth while eating stuffing. This led to the dentist removing my wisdom tooth and insisting on a few more dental appointments to follow this week to finish the necessary "repair work".
Yesterday and today I have been feeling pretty darn lousy... but Joe and the kids cheered me up by pulling out all the Christmas decorations. Joe topped it all off by getting a Christmas tree this afternoon!
The house looks amazingly warm, cozy, and festive! Take a look....

I feel better already.... NOT!!!
... But the house does look great!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


There are so many things that I absolutely love about living overseas. Unfortunately, over the holidays... I forget all of them!

Thanksgiving... I am meant to be sitting on my grandmother's front porch swing ~ a big glass of sweat tea in one hand (that I just scooped out of the 25 gallon galvanized steal tub) and a turkey leg in the other.

I am meant to be wearing a t-shirt and shorts as my grandmother's house is in Louisiana and it is usually still warm at this time of year.

I am meant to be climbing in a tree or chasing my cousins or catching baby chickens in the pen in the back of the house.

I am meant to be surrounded by family and friends!

Thanksgiving... I am thankful for so many amazing memories!

... and even though I am in Australia ~ far away from those childhood memories ~ and surrounded by people that have not heard of Thanksgiving, or Pilgrims and Indians, or turkey dinner, or the Macy's parade, or afternoon football games... (or shopping at 5am on the following morning) I have my wonderful husband and amazing children ~ and I am so thankful for the wonderful memories that we are creating each and every day!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Life's Little Pleasures....

The mail came on Friday. Included among the odds and ends of magazines, mail order catalogs, and junk mail was an box. The contents of the box was what dreams are made of... or, what we have been dreaming about for a couple months!

Abby was thrilled that Fire Fighter Woody was finally here (after spending a few months on the back order list) to join her favorite friend Buz! She has uttered the words "Ride like the wind Bullseye"... about 100 times in a 24 hour period! Woody was definitely worth the wait!
As for Holly and I, we received a little pink box that we have been waiting for ever so impatiently for... NO... not jewelery!!! The 7th and final season of Gilmore Girls!!!
We have been waiting almost a year to see Rory graduate from Yale. For twelve months, we have been wondering if Lorelai and Luke are together or apart. Forget about reality for a while Holly and I are moving to Stars Hollow for the weekend to catch up with our long lost friends!