Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Bon Voyage

Hello everyone,
I'm the sister-in-law and I'll be updating the blog while they're gone. They are in the air at this moment. I've checked their flight and it's on schedule (according to the airline website...anyone who's flown much knows how accurate that is!). They will arrive in Beijing tomorrow morning CT. She's asked me to post something everyday whether I've heard from her or not, so I'll update you tomorrow. Good night and may your dreams be of fair skies and no turbulance!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The sun will come out.....TOMORROW!!!

My next post will be from China. I can't really even believe that I'm typing that!!! I've only had a couple of fleeting panic attacks today. I've been much better than I expected. I've had so many encouraging phone calls, and emails. I guess, in a strange way, I'm thankful to know I'm not the only one that has gone through this experience and been scared. But, as I said in the last post....I can get as scared as I want to, but I'm going to do it anyway!!!

We fly out of Jackson tomorrow morning, and will arrive in China approximately 23 hours later. We have a free day in Beijing, and then we will have 2 very busy "touristy" days. Then we fly down to Jillian's province. We spend the night, get up, relax, and prepare to meet our daughter!! I keep thinking "there really is a child at the end of this rainbow"!!! I don't think I will believe it until I'm actually there. Holding her.

If I don't post for a day or two, it's because, number 1: we'll be on a plane for about 23 hours...and then number 2: we may have trouble with the internet. I will be posting ASAP, and as often as possible. Just keep checking back!!!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Again, be calm o my soul.

I was doing ok. Really I was. I promise. A little nervous....maybe. However, at church tonight, obviously, everyone was asking if we were excited, nervous,etc. And then I would get the random, "oh my gosh, that flight is going to be miserable!!". Not often, but in my mental state right now, one or two of those comments has really made me on edge. I keep telling myself, that not everyone knows my extreme phobia of flying. Not everyone knows that I'm not kidding when I tell them I have my xanax and ambien packed in my carry on first and foremost. Clearly they think I am the most amazing faithful person there is. I so wish I was. My son got a new bible yesterday. He is reading it like nothing I've ever seen. He came to me when he got to the part about Noah being drunk. Does everyone out there remember that???!!! Very awkward discussion to have with my 11 year old. However, it became the perfect opportunity to remind him, and myself, that God chooses those that are not capable in and of themselves to do what He has called them to. He chose me to adopt Jillian. Why did He call me to something that is stretching every ounce of my being just to get through everyday?? I don't know. But He did. And I am not going to let Him down. When I get back from China, I will post how Jesus Himself had to get me through this journey. Don't get me wrong....I want Jillian... desperately. She is already my daughter, and has been for quite some time now. I just want someone to bring her to me!! :) But the Lord doesn't work that way, and I've known that for some time now also. As I go into the next couple of days, I am praying for God's peace to cover me from head to toe. I know I'm doing His will. I know it. Faith is not not being's being afraid and doing it anyway.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Weight Loss Program...

So I'm talking with some friends last night. Somehow we got to talking about weight loss, and looking 'gaunt'. I told them all what a wonderful diet plan an adoption is. I have NEVER been so stressed I didn't want to eat....until now. Nothing sounds good. Then my friends says, "you can sell that to lose weight and your mind all at the same time!!" I cracked up!! I really, really feel like it's true. Anybody want to join???? It's only 3 easy payments of $39.95. (that's just for you alisha!!)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

For all my travel friends....

I really absolutely do not like this picture....but it's the only one of my husband and I that was on my computer. At least now we might be able to find each other in Beijing!! I'll start checking the other blogs. 8 days and counting!

Saturday, October 20, 2007


So I'm searching for a good 'backpack carry on' for the trip. My family and I went and ran some errands tonight...exchanged some clothes for Jillian, etc. I didn't find the backpack, so I came home and looked online. I saw one at that I really, really liked. I noticed that it was not available in stores, and was online only. It only then occurred to me that I am really, really, absolutely for real, no kidding real, going to China....and SOON. Like a week and a half. I can't have that backpack, because by the time it comes in, I'll be gone to China. What's up with that??!!!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Be Calm, O My Soul!!

I am feeling slightly better today than I have in the past day or two. Tuesday I was a nervous wreck. My husband was in an incredibly important meeting at work, I was at work by myself, and I needed the Lord's guidance desperately. I was very upset about the extra 2 days, and then the longer flight. We are on the 17 hour flight from Detroit to Beijing. However, right before I left work yesterday I got my in country itinerary. When I saw: "Monday, Nov. 5 Afternoon - Meet Jillian YuLu Duffey!!" , I realized what this is all about. Not that I didn't know before, but I have a meeting Jillian date. While you are all sound asleep in your beds during the wee hours of Monday morning, I will be meeting my daughter. I will finally see what she actually looks like now. I will finally be able to see how many of my prayers have been answered, and which ones I need to kick into high gear. I will finally be holding the child that the Lord put in my heart so long ago. I WILL BE HOLDING HER!!! I know for all of you adoptive parents out there, you can imagine what is going through my mind. With my biological children, I was holding them from the day I found out about them. I could rub my pregnant belly, and feel them. I was connected with them instantly. With Jillian, I didn't feel connected instantly. The Lord has worked on my heart, while looking at that little picture, and she has become mine. I love her, and grieve for her. I grieve for the fact that everything she knows now, will totally be gone from her life in a few weeks. She knows nothing of what's coming. Please be praying for her. That the Lord gives her comfort. I have had months to become so attached to her....she doesn't have that option. She meets us, and leaves with us. Regardless of whether or not she likes us.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

TRAVEL DATES!!!!!!!!!!

In about 2 1/2 weeks I will be there in Guangxi!!! I'm really not sure how I'm feeling right now....nervous, excited, sick, thrilled, ready, tearful, etc. We have secured a consulate appointment!! It's not the one we wanted, but it must be what God wanted. We are leaving November 1st from here, and arriving back on November 16th. Because we did not get the date we wanted, we are having to stay in China one more day!! (insert my totally sad face here!!) I know it will be fine, but I was hoping it might be the opposite. So it goes!! Please, please pray for my family during this time!!! There is so much to do, so much mental preparation, so much that the Lord HAS to have His hand on!! I'll write more later, but right now, I think I have to go pray!!!!

UPDATE: It's looking like we're going to be leaving October 31st!! I'm really sick to my stomach now!!! Several adoption friends have recommended that we leave a day early to get caught up with jet lag before we hit the road going to all the tourist attractions. I have been adamantly opposed to this, as any extra day there is one more day away from my kids. However, if we leave on October 31st, our airfare is significantly cheaper (like $500 per person). Since we are not rich, (insert my totally other sad face here), and money is definitely an issue, I think we are going to have to go a day early!! Again, please, please pray!!!

Monday, October 15, 2007

TA has landed!!!!!!

We got our travel approval today, finally!! I was REALLY getting discouraged that we had not heard yet. I was trying to stop thinking about it non stop, and today I finally succeeded. So much in fact, that when I saw the area code on my phone, I thought it was my sister in law calling from a very similar area code. I was totally caught off guard...oddly enough!!! Our travel coordinator feels quite confident that we can get a CA for November 13th. (CA = Court Appointment.) So confident in fact that she has added us to the 'travel phone call'. That is typically a 2 hour phone call with every question that you can think of answered. I'm going to re-read through my travel paperwork tonight to make sure all of our bases are covered. Just to recap...the process goes something like this: You get your travel approval. That then allows your agency to request a court appointment. Once you have your court appointment, you buy your plane tickets!! In our personal situation, there are 12 other families from our agency going to the same province that we are with court appointments for the 13th. Our agency feels like because of this, it should be no problem to squeeze in with them. If not, we will be a day or two seperate from them. Which isn't a big deal at all. We should know by Wednesday exactly when our CA is. Of course the optimal word there is SHOULD. We SHOULD have had our TA by now, so I'm just going to say should loosely.

So, finally, after all this time...June 2005 actually, we are in the final 2 weeks of our adoption journey. Or should I say, the final 2 weeks before our true adoption story begins!!!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Where oh where...

is my TA????? I'm losing my patience with this nonsense!! Don't I sound like I'm talking to my kids!! Seriously, it's been 3 1/2 weeks. Where on earth is it??

Thursday, October 11, 2007

I'm going to share a little of my heart today.


Why not post on your blog that you'll take a few days and let your soul "rest", as you admire your gift from God named Chandler, and watch him devour stovetop shrimp that your Dad who adores you has prepared? Share with your readers that we all have to step back from the tension and the nerves and just relax in God's peace and family attention. You need these few days in Baton Rouge, and God will bless you and replenish your spirit within them. Chill. "Be still and know that I am God."

Love you....


My Dad called me last night and told me he had sent me an email telling me a good idea for my blog. If any of you out there know my Dad, there is absolutely no telling what he's going to do or say sometimes. Total prankster in almost every sense of the word. When I got to work this morning, and opened it, I was pleasantly surprised to find that it wasn't a joke at all. It was that heartfelt sentiment from him to me. I'm sure he doesn't mind that I'm sharing, (at least I hope not). I have to tell all of my 5 readers out there...(LOL!)...most of our families have not always been on board with this adoption. My Dad, (yes, this very dad that wrote this to me), actually thought this was one of the biggest mistakes my husband and I have ever made in our entire lives. My husband's family up until this past weekend, never ever acknowledged Jillian to me. Ever. I've been worried sick over how she would be accepted. Someone has already made a joke to my husband that his eyes were "getting a little slanted!! HaHaHa!". I really didn't think that was too funny. I didn't get angry, but I thought it was surprising how ignorant "Christian" people can be. After my shower this weekend, my husband's mother called me to tell me how much in love with Jillian she was falling. My nephew sent my son a message telling him how excited they were about 'his sister'. For the umpteenth time in my life the Lord is working it all out. So as I frantically get done everything I need to get done to head out to Baton Rouge, I can rest in the knowledge that not only is He in control of all this, but He will also work out even the smallest detail. I will rest this weekend. Even though there are probably a million things I need to do. I will rest.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Just one of those weeks.

Thanks to my shower, I now have Jillian's carseat, diapers to start off with, cups for her to drink out of, wonderful snuggly blankies, and my diaper bag. Thanks to my mom's gentle nudging, her bed is put together. Thanks to my dear and precious friend that I thank God for everyday, she has clothes to wear until we know exactly what size she will need to be, bottles, and my hip hugger to carry her while we are in China. So why am I not jumping for joy. I can't figure it out. I have really stopped all preparations. I think back to June 26th, when I first saw her picture, and I feel like it was a lifetime ago. Do I really still not have her?? Am I just getting back in the disbelief stage? I don't want to go back there. But here I am. Bummer. I have never wanted to get on an airplane like this in my life. I am SO ready to go and get back. Wait, I think I've said that already...a few weeks ago even!!!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Just too tired...

I'm just too pooped to post an entire post, but I thought I would let y'all know a few things. I thought bullet points were the best way to do this.

*Cancelled garage sale because too much was going on.
*Collin got his first flag in flag football. Go Collin!
*My shower was fantastic, and more people came than I ever imagined!
*Got baby bed down.
*Realized baby bed didn't fit in the manner I would like it to fit.
*Rearranged furniture to make it fit.
*Spent the entire day Sunday between services rearranging rooms of furniture.
*Realized I have some of the most amazing friends, and mother anyone could ever ask for! I am so blessed!
*About to go to bed, and start all over again tomorrow.

Friday, October 5, 2007

This made me cry for some goofball reason...

Twas the night before leaving when all through the house not a
creature was stirring, including my spouse.
The luggage was packed and repacked with care
in hope that our daughter would soon find us there.
No child was nestled or snug in our bed,
she slept that night in her orphanage bed.
And Mama in her kerchief with luggage in sight
had just settled our brains for a long sleepless night.
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash, tore open the shutter,
And threw up the sash.
The sun on the grass and the newly formed dew
gave promise of morning time to bid our adieu.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
but a yellow airport taxi and our friends we hold dear.
With a little old driver, so lively and pip,
I new in a moment we start our big trip.
More rapid than eagles, from our cities we came,
and we whistled and shouted and called them by name:
Albuquerque! Dallas! Phoenix! LA!
Hong Kong! Beijing! Guangzhou today!
From the Great Wall of China to the Province of Guandong
now dash away…dash away…dash away ALL!
Like treasure from heaven in our arms they did place,
our precious new daughter tears fell from our face.
So up to the hotel room with our child we flew
our new bundle of joy "We have presents for you."
Then, in a twinkling, I heard from the door
"Paperwork to do!" I heard myself "MORE?"
Like rain from the heavens when hurricanes fly
tears just like raindrops fell from our eyes.
We bathed her and dressed her from her head to her toe
with ribbons and dresses and a giant hair bow.
A bundle of clothes we had that were too big or too small
we sent to the orphanage to be shared by them all.
Her eyes- how they twinkled! Her dimples, how merry!
Her cheeks were like roses, my nose red as a cherry!
Her beautiful smile was drawn up like a bow,
and both of her parents seemed to give off a glow.
A stamp of her foot and a print from our thumb
made a family of us the adoption was done!
Passport and Visa then the Consulate Visit.
Our paperwork done? Afraid that it isn't.
The paperwork workshop we held in the hall
when finished a sigh, came from us all.
A wink of an eye and a twist of a head
soon gave me to know we had nothing to dread.
He spoke a few words, went straight through our work
double checked our documents then turned with a jerk.
He wanted to know "was this the daughter we chose"
and giving a nod; up from his desk he arose.
They gave the approval, we gave a loud whistle,
and away we all flew like the down of a thistle.
They heard us exclaim, both me and my
wife: "Blessings to all and to all a good life!"

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Settling in...

It's strange how one extra week in the USA has affected my mentality. I feel like I've got months to go before the trip. I keep telling myself it's only one more week, but it really, really feels like it's added much more time for me to get 'stuff' done. I am really excited about going to Chandler's field trip. He told me yesterday it's going to be "the best field trip of my life". I also am going to push back my garage sale, so I won't be doing EVERYTHING this Saturday. (Mom, I just decided that, so I'll be calling you soon to talk to you about that.) I was feeling that overwhelmed feeling again, with garage sale, painting, ball games, and my shower. Along with praying that my schools pay their invoices on time so I can pay my bills at the store!! (If you are a teacher here, and are reading this, please turn in your receipts so your school can pay me!! :) )

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

A Little Clarification

Sorry for the confusing post yesterday. I was so irritated when I got the word from my agency friend about the trade fair in Guangxi, I didn't make myself very clear. This is the deal:

In the last batch of non special needs referrals, there were 12 families who received referrals from Guangxi, (which is where Jillian is). These families were going to be traveling October 25th, but then our agency found out there is a trade fair going on in Guangxi the week of October 25th, lasting through November 1st. When there is a trade fair, all of the government offices are closed, which means none of her paperwork could be processed. Therefore, the earliest we can travel is November 1st. When I spoke with the travel coordinator this morning, she felt like there was no reason we would not be able to travel with them. They already have 12 families with court appointments on November 13th, so it would be no big deal to add one family to that group. All this is with the assumption we will receive our travel approval soon. She thought we should receive that in no more than one week. Now, I say again, China can do whatever they want. There are NO guarantees of WHEN we will go. Hopefully that has cleared up some confusion. Just keep praying for my Jillian. I am just so ready to get her.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

No TA for me.

I'm disappointed. Not frustrated, just disappointed. My travel approval didn't come. There just seems to be no rhyme or reason for any of this. Some long awaited LOA's came, but others did not. I feel really bad for those who didn't get their news today.

On the up side, we did get our fingerprints done today. It was SO much easier than dealing with the New Orleans office. It all just went so smooth! Thank God for small blessings!

Anyway, I will report as soon as I hear something.

UPDATE: If you read my comments, then you will see that evidently I have missed out on some very important information. I am really, really frustrated now. Especially now that it's too late to call my agency to find out more details. Basically, it's looking like it's November 1st for us. Which is fine, if I just knew. Good grief!!!