Monday, December 31, 2012

T-Minus 7 days and counting

We purchased our tickets, reserved our hotels, have our consulate appointments, and are packing.  One week from right now we should be with Hudson and he has no idea as to what he is in for.  On Saturday January 5th we take an early flight to Washington D.C.  From there we have a flight to Beijing and from Beijing we fly to Chengdu.  We will be in Chengdu for 5 days and then leave for Guangzhou.  After our appointments in Guangzhou we take a van to Hong Kong for a direct flight to Chicago.  Believe it or not I am tired already and we haven't even flown yet!    Trevor and Garrett will be going with us this time and they are totally excited.  Garret has already said he is very nervous about the flights because he doesn't want to feel the pressure on his ears.  I assured him that he will mostly feel the pressure during ascending and descending.

When in Guangzhou we wont be able to stay at the hotel we had first time around.  Its been under construction for a very long time and isn't taking any reservations.  This led us to take advantage of a lot of Marriott points and get a hotel paid for by our frequent stays during my work travels and our fire displacement. 

We have been overwhelmed by what we have to do since moving back into our house and also planning for this trip.  We have had friends John and Brenda that have showed up almost every night the last week to "encourage" us to keep making progress.  Without them we would probably be sitting in a pile of unopened boxes.  Today John helped me clear out the last items from our MiBox portable storage unit.  This was a huge help as we want our driveway back!  Hopefully the great guys at MiBox can get us on the schedule early this week. 

I will through in a shameless plug for MiBox.  The guys there were great to work with.  When they heard that we had a fire they quickly got two large portable storage boxes delivered to our house so we could fill them with the contents of the house that didn't go to service master. 

Sunday, May 6, 2012


Our family was rocked on May 4th.  I took Brock and Garrett to a soccer game while Beth entertained a houseful of kids with freeze pops.  Soon after I left the house Beth had to leave to take Trevor to soccer practice.  As Garrett's game started I received a phone call from our neighbor Bruce Larson.  Bruce told me that the house was on fire and calmly asked if anyone was inside and how they could get in.  I pulled Garrett off the field and rushed home with the two boys then called Beth.  At this time she had already received calls from other neighbors and we both were in total shock.  Beth had just had a houseful of kids and left a short time sooner, how could the house be on fire?

When I arrived home there were cars, trucks, and people everywhere.  It sounds strange but I had an overwhelming calm come over me as if people were already praying for our family.  As I walked up to the intense scene the only thing I could think was "its all replaceable".  My family was safe, no one was injured, we were insured, and we had a huge group of friends standing there with us fighting back tears and ready to help. 

Monday, February 13, 2012

Telling family and friends about North Face

Well, we kept the secret as long as we could.  Lindsey has known that we were planning to adopt a son from China for months.  Given her age we continually had to remind her that the adoption was a secret.  For the majority of 2011 Beth and I had detailed conversations regarding the adoption process while around the other kids but always referred to our newest addition as North Face.  (I think I covered this in a previous post but we referred to the baby as North Face because Beth and I purchased North Face coats in China during our adoption of Lindsey.)

So getting back to telling the kids.  Our timing seemed spur of the moment for me.  I wasn't necessarily ready to tell everyone but we had just sent our dossier to our adoption agency and we were both very excited.  Friday evening February 10th Beth put together a little devotion about prayer for the kids.  The devotion basically highlighted that God answers prayers in His time and in His way.  Sometimes his answer is no, sometimes its yes, other times he may not answer in our lifetime.  I was dead set against adding to our family because things already seem chaotic but Beth and the kids continually prayed for my heart to be changed.  Well we shared with the kids Friday night that God answered their prayers and that we were moving forward with an adoption. 

We recorded their reactions and they were all very excited.  We had Lindsey tell them we were adopting again and initially Lindsey didnt want to tell because it "was a secret".  We finally got her to talk and all her brothers and sister were excited.  Mallory instantly said she wanted a girl because she doesnt like being outnumbered.  She got over it quickly.

Sunday morning I had a hard time telling friends at church because I was running around with a bunch of responsibilities.  We told the kids that they could share with friends and they did.  Before I knew it I had people coming up congradulating us.  We left church and started calling family so that they didnt find out because of Facebook.  In the afternoon we went to Grandma and Grandpa T's house and told them.  They were both very excited, Grandpa cried a little.  It was a great moment.