An invisible red thread connects those that are destined to meet,regardless of time,place or circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle, but never break.~Ancient Chinese Proverb

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

FIRST day of FIRST grade!!

Well, today our big guy started first grade!!
And, boy was he ready!! No fuss getting up EARLY this morning..ate breakfast without being told to hurry up. Got dressed, teeth brushed and out the plenty of time to make it to his new class early.
of course, not without our official 1st grade photo!!!(see above)

We seem to have a super sweet teacher this year. She also has a young son, so hopefully she is a pro at knowing what to expect from 7 year old BOYS!! We are praying that Nick has a wonderful year. We hope that he learns more than he ever imagined he could. We hope that he forms new friendships and that he grows and matures into the young man we know that God has destined for him to become.
Nick......we are SO proud of you!!!!!!!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

How we spent our Summer.....

Lordy, WHERE did our Summer go?? I don't know about you, but I am NOT ready for it to end!! Living in the South allows us to hold onto the season for a little bit longer in the year. There is no doubt that my Boys will not stop asking to swim, until Fall is officially  here.

We have had a wonderful, relaxing Summer. I have cherished our late(r) night bed-times, our lazy mornings watching cartoons and getting around to breakfast whenever we wanted, impromptu swims off of our dock whenever the mood struck us, fireworks on the Lake for 4th of July......these are all the things that make up favorite time of year. Now that Nick is in "Big School", I find myself cherishing these Summers even more.

So.....HOW did the Keefers' spend their Summer????

Well, LOTS of swimming, traveling to see our sweet family, a few temper tantrum/meltdowns....AND..

we celebrated a certain Big Boy turning 7, trying to learn to skateboard (love Daddy's hard hat as a helmet), made some progress on our Adoption, and boat rides galore!!

so, all in all, this family has had an amazing Summer!

What's up next for us?? Well, Nick begins his first day of 1st Grade tomorrow! He is so excited! We went to meet his teacher and classmates last night. we are all hoping that he will have a wonderful academic year. We pray that he will learn lots, make new friendships, grow and mature, and most of all..enjoy his childhood!!!
Our adoption dossier is finally complete and has all of the Government seals that it needs to be sent to China!! This process has taken us 7 months. Our adoption agency says it usually takes most people 3-6 months. I cannot even begin to fathom how people complete their dossier in 3 months!!! It must mean that NO Government employees took any vacation during the process!!haha. I think of the 7 months, our paperwork sat on desks, unattended for at least 4 of those months. BUT.....It is all behind us now..a labor of love....and will soon be on it's way to China. Once China receives it and logs us into their system, we are officially in line to be matched with a file of a little girl. We have given our "requests" to our agency (i.e. gender,age, medical history) and they will match us accordingly. We are very aware that many of these children were born with and present with minor,correctable medical needs..and that we are open to some of these needs. It is highly likely that we will be matched with a little girl born with cleft lip and/or palate. Being a Dental Hygienist, I am completely aware of this condition and understand HOW correctable it is. We have a team in place, ready to review her file, should she present with this condition.. Only God knows the child that will be presented to us. We pray that he will speak to us with clear minds and open hearts when we receive "the call"......

"GOD does not call the Equipped. He equips the called."


Sunday, August 19, 2012

Someone had a Birthday!!!!!

Well, we celebrated a big Birthday in our house a few weeks ago!!! Our big guy, Nick, turned 7 !!!

Boy, was it a special weekend!! We had lots of family in town to visit, and of course, a Birthday Bash with Nick's buddies. This year, he decided he wanted a bowling party. The party was a blast and all of the boys seemed to have a great time. Star Wars was the theme this year, and so the party ended with a lightsaber duel in the bowling alley, with the give-away lightsaber party favors. All Boy!!!!
Enjoy some photos from the Birthday weekend!!


So, since plunging head first into our adoption journey, I must admit, I have developed a love for "all things adoption". T-shirts, jewelry, anything Chinese..! In my search for cute adoption clothing, I stumbled across a company, Wild Olive, who makes the most AMAZING clothing. I love them, because not ONLY are they adoption related, but there are also really cute Christian shirts. Their slogan is " Get your verse on.", as all of their tees are printed with a bible verse on the back .Trust me when I say that their stuff is WAY cute! I am already plotting my next order. (I have to order in phases, so that my hubby doesn't have a heart attack!). I began ordering so many tees for my family, to wear in support of our adoption, that it dawned on me that I should be taking advantage of their FUNDRAISING program. For every adoption shirt purchased, a portion of the sale will go towards OUR adoption fee. (And there is no worry that it is a gimick, because the company mails a check for all proceeds directly to our Adoption Agency, for our account). Since I was ordering so many of these cute tees (and still have MORE to order), I would be a WIN-WIN.
So...if any of you are in the market for some super cute HAVE to check out their websight!

Go to.. ..

IF you decide to purchase any of the ADOPTION FUNDRAISER TEES, a portion of the sale will go towards our adoption cost.
Our family code is KEEFER803
*This code MUST be entered in the coupon code box at checkout!*



Thursday, August 2, 2012

Abbreviations galore!!!

So, since we have had a relatively boring week, I suddenly felt the need to blog about SOMETHING...anything. All of us have been sick with colds, stuck on the couch, not doing much of anything. The adoption is slowly trucking along. Our dossier documents are with the courier at the US Embassy and Chinese Embassy in DC getting their final seals from the Government. While we wait for them to be returned to our agency for their final review, I am twiddling my thumbs. So,for those who think that adoption is just filling out an application, paying some money and waiting,I thought I would share all of the things I have learned so far, in the world of adoption lingo....

HS............................Homestudy (4 visits with a Social Worker to learn ALL about you)
SW...........................Your Social Worker
DSS...........................Department of Social Services (who will approve your completed homestudy)
USCIS........................US Customs and Immigrations (don't mess with these folks!!)
I800A..........................The formal application asking the US Gov't to adopt a child from a foreign country
I797.............................The formal approval you get saying YES you can!!
SOS.............................Secretary of State ( you need their seal on every document)
DTA..............................Dossier to Agency (being reviewed before being sent to China)
DTC................................Dossier to China (you finally get introduced to China as a couple wanting to adopt)

Well, this is about as far as I have gotten in my education. There will be many abbreviations to follow, with the most important being TA-travel approval. That means, buy your tickets, book your hotels and get your butt on a plane!! I long to be there!...PATIENCE....PATIENCE...

For now, we wait to hear that our documents have all been sealed and are ready to go. We hope to get this news next week. Our agency will then keep our dossier for a week or so longer to put the finishing touches on it, then send it on a plane half way around the world.

In other news...we are gearing up for a BIG Birthday celebration. Our oldest is turning 7 tomorrow!! he is so excited! We've only been counting down for the last month! We have lots of family arriving for the celebration and a small party with his closest friends. We LOVE Birthdays around here----any reason to eat CAKE!!!