Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Another Way to Help: Our Adoption Wish List

We are a little more than a month away from travel.  I cannot believe it!

It has been suggested to us to make a public Amazon Wish List.  This allows others to see what is still needed for our trip.

If you want to help us prepare, you can either:
1) purchase items for us through Amazon and ship them to us
2) find these items at another store
3) gift us with used items
4) donate to help us cover the cost of these needed items

We have been blessed with so many that have helped us so far and we are so grateful!

Donations can be made to our Reece's Rainbow FUND  or Paypal at

You can see our Amazon Adoption Wish List HERE!  There are two pages

This will be available until around May 10, when I'll have to purchase the items so I get them in time to travel in early June!


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

We are Almost There!!


So, here is a fairly confusing flow chart of the China adoption program. I remember looking at it at the beginning of our process and not having any clue what all the abbreviations stood for.

What you can get from it is, this process is NOT easy and there are many steps I've had to follow these past 11 months.

But guess what?!

I just completed steps 9-12 in the last week!!  We only have 5 more steps to go!  And actually, those all go really fast!  We expect to get our official Travel Approval in the next 3-4 weeks!

Time is ticking and I have so much to do!
Please continue to pray for our family!! 

For there is a time and a way for everything, although man's trouble lies heavy on him. 
Ecclesiastes 8:6

Cheat sheet for flow chart:
DTC: Dossier to China (paperwork that proves who we are that takes months to collect)
LOA: Letter of Acceptance (official paperwork that matches you to your specific child in China)
TA: Travel Approval (needed to book flights, hotels and CA)
CA: Consulate Appointment in Guangzhou, China (to make the adoption official)

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Provisions of the Best Kind, the GOD Kind

I truly wish I could share every single blessing God has orchestrated throughout this journey.  I've tried along the way, but I feel like I haven't done God justice in this department!  I had to share a few of the most recent ones, though...

I think it's safe to say, first of all, that money is tight.  We are saving every penny we can for this adoption.  We already basically lived paycheck to paycheck, but now it's pretty much day to day.  It's life.  We've accepted it for this season.  But, it's been difficult for sure.

First, a group of ladies at my church who do a bible study together were praying about what kind of ministry project they could do together this spring, and ended up choosing to bless our family!  They planned an Adoption Celebration and shared a list of needs for our upcoming trip with our family and friends.

 Visiting with family and friends

The celebration was this past weekend and it was A-MAZ-ING!  We had over 50 guests, fabulous home-cooked Chinese food, and we were blessed with many needed travel items, along with enough cash to get most of the rest of what we need!

We still have people contacting us saying that they weren't able to come, but still want to help.  It was a fun celebration with like-minded friends and family, and I am very grateful this group of women blessed us like they did.  I know how much time, energy and money went into this celebration!  We are so thankful for them.

 We asked guests to fill out 'good wishes' or prayers for Frannie and Finn.
My mother-in-law plans to make a 100 Good Wishes Quilt for each of them.

Look at all the fabulous stuff we were blessed with!!

Another story comes out of my last blog post #AdoptiveMomFailure.  I had mentioned that I hadn't been able to buy my kids new sheets.  Seems like a silly thing to be bothered by, but I remember buying a new Winnie the Pooh crib sheet for each of my new babies.  It was a mini, unplanned tradition.  Now, my kids each have one set of sheet from Grandmama from a few years ago, and my sheets from when I was  little girl.  This includes Lion King, Winnie the Pooh, Pocahontas, and yes..... 90210 sheets!  Amusing, but after 20+ years they are quite tattered.  Sheets are just low on the priority list after underwear, shoes and coats!

Anyway, I had three different women contact me about sheets after my post!  One was an adoptive family who had switched to bunks and had two sets of full sheets.  We have two full/twin bunks and expect to co-sleep on them with Frannie and Finn!  She had a girl set and boy set, pillow covers and quilts included!  And guess what....the girls sets matches our entire girls room!  Only God.  She said she had been holding onto them wondering what she would do with them and decided she must have been hanging on to them for us! 

Another lady is a local mom of a number of little ones who had a few sets of twin sheets she was holding onto.  She, too, thought we must be the reason she had hung onto the sheets so long.  So, now we have nicer sheets to put on the kids' beds!  Such a silly thing, but God cares, and it was neat how it all came together.

Another cool story...  I saw on Facebook that a church family was doing a garage sale  She has a son a little older than Finton.  I messaged her to see if she had any 3T/4T boys clothes in the sale so I could come by.  She said she did but she happened to leave those boxes of clothes accidentally at home.  What are the chances?  She generously gifted us those clothes stating she must have left them behind for a reason.  We are really short on 3T stuff and the clothes were perfect!  Just a few months ago another church family had gifted us with a ton of 4T clothes, too!  God has taken care of us even in all these little details!

And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. 
Philippines 4:19

I seriously could keep typing all night!

I'll end with one more story.

One of my daughter's best friends dances with her weekly.  The dance program is a good 30 minute drive away, and since I had two girls in class on two different days, this friend's mom offered to take my daughter weekly to save me gas money.  She did this for about half the year and then her job changed, and I started taking her girls to dance every other week for her.  It's rehearsal week and we are tag-teaming taking the girls almost every day.  Tonight she gave me a little note to thank me for taking her girls to and from dance.  She also gifted us with a gas card.  She had no idea that this week we had planned out our meals, spent the rest of our money and truly didn't have enough gas to drive to and from dance this week.  But, God did.  Such a small, small detail in our every day lives.  But, He knew and He cared and He provided.

Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. 
John 14:1

I know He's trying to teach me.  Teach me to let go.  Trust.  Give it all to Him.  Lay my burdens down.  The enemy knows my weaknesses and He's putting up a good battle in my heart.  I am so stressed over finding Miracle nursing care and figuring out this last $12,000.  I honestly can say I haven't let it all go yet.  I am trying to balance trusting God while still doing my part.  And I'm walking all over His toes in the process.  But, I'm trying.

Funny thing is, in the midst of this nursing chase, Miracle's bouts of seizures, fundraising and travel plans that are all stressing me out, we've been contacted by three different grant agencies.  We were awarded a $2000 grant already, had an interview for a $4000 matching grant today and have an interview scheduled for a $3000 grant on Monday!

God is just reminding me over and over that He has gone before me.  He has this taken care of.  He knew our deadlines for funds before we did.  He knew our nurse's schedule before they did.  It's so hard to let go in my humanity.  But when I think of how big He is, I feel so silly for holding on so tightly.  I'm trying, I really am.

 You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, 
because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 
1 John 4:4

Thank you for your continued prayers for our family!  
They are so appreciated and needed at this time. 

Monday, April 13, 2015


I feel like I live out this hashtag daily.  Seriously.  No joke.

I'm going to be very vulnerable in this post.

I had so many ideas on how glorious adopting would be.  The ideas have definitely changed over the course of our 10 year journey.  I always thought we would work in a group home or do foster care for years.  That our kids would just become one of us before it was ever 'official.'  I never imagined I'd be looking to beautiful Asian eyes or traveling half way around the world.  But, all those are exciting differences and welcomed changes!

It's the others I wasn't prepared for.

I thought the months leading up to our adoption our family would be so close knit.  The kids are super excited and we talk often about how life will be different soon.  But, my kids are going through a mean streak right now.  Between arguing with each other, being lazy about chores and mama's extra stress...let's just say this isn't the heavenly realm I had envisioned our new kids would be walking into.  I am so thankful Mr. Prince and I have been close and in tune through this last year, though.  I might have had a mental break down by now if we hadn't!  And we are tackling the attitudes with our kids and praying things will turn around here soon.

(The Empowered to Connect Adoption Conference we just attended this past weekend gave us so much to work on.  And we've already seen changes in our kids in just 3 DAYS!  Praising God for that!)

I started a bible study in the summer and I still have yet to really pick it up again.  I thought I would be seeking and growing so much through all this, but it just looks so different than I had imagined.  My closest moments with Christ right now are the secret tears I shed every few hours as I think about and pray for my kids across the world, see a beautiful Asian child, watch my kids fighting, look at my to-do list, worship in the car or reflect on this journey.  I feel like an emotional basket-case.  And I spend my days thanking God for his provisions, begging him for mercy during our transition and constantly giving this journey back to him.  Because, truthfully, I want to control it.  And I know I can't.  But, I still catch myself trying.  I feel like a child asking over and over again for a puppy from mom and dad.  And I feel him reminding me that He's here and He has gone before me.  He is my comforter more than anything these days.  My friends might be worried about me if I shared all my thoughts with them daily!  So glad God is there for my in my secret moments.  My faith and trust have been deepened even more through this journey.  I may not be doing some in-depth study, but I'm growing more than ever before in much more life altering ways!

I also had all these great ideas for handmaking a backpack for Frannie (fabric already purchased), crocheting a nesting bowl set for Finn (yarn purchased), making fun t-shirts that say big brother/sister and little brother/sister in Mandarin, and making cloth books of our family to send to both kids.  None of these projects are even started and there is no way they will be completed.  I also wanted to paint my living room and put up some collages of the kids, include Frannie and Finn.  Ugh.  I did make some cloth fortune cookie ornaments for family with their title (aunt, uncle, grandma, etc) on the 'fortune' for Christmas this last year, BUT...I got the flu and never even finished the ones for the kids or me!  I just has all these things I wanted to DO.  And since I'm drowning in bills, paperwork, flight schedules, homeschool, grading and's just not gonna get done.

I had actually planned to induce lactation for my kids to give them breastmilk (not nurse them).  It's really important to me that they get something I wasn't able to provide them as infants, and I think it will help with immunity, gut health and the transition into a new country with new foods.  With less than two months left and already feeling too busy, I can't add pumping 6x a day into my schedule.  (I didn't originally include this in my blog post, but I know that others need to hear this as well.)  This has been a very emotional decision for me.  I am thankful that a few people have offered to donate some breastmilk this summer so I can still offer them an awesome immunity boost.  But, this was a huge let down for me.

I thought I could afford new sheets for the kids.....I can't.

I thought we would be done fundraising by now.....we aren't.

I thought the wait would be easier considering I've already been 'waiting' for's harder.

I thought I would be so organized with all this crazy paperwork.....I'm not.

I thought we would finish homeschool early.....we won't.  We may not even finish all I had planned...

This journey looks so different from what I had imagined.  And all the details I'm stressing over now will be forgotten in 3 months time.  But, that doesn't mean they don't weigh on me now.

Adoption is hard.  And I haven't even DONE it yet!!

I told my little brother-in-law the other night to just consider me 7 months pregnant, because that's how I feel.  Uncomfortable, about ready to burst with emotions at any moment, stressed, nesting, planning, preparing...  Watch out!

Not sure I had anything really important to share.  I know those other adoptive families out there will get where I'm coming from!

Please continue to pray for us.  Pray for the funds to come in, for our children's attitudes to continue to change for the better, for traveling to China, for Frannie and Finn's transition.  We really appreciate the prayers, thoughts, encouragement and scripture that has come in over the last few months!

I could meet my babies in less than 60 days.  It's surreal!!

Friday, April 3, 2015

The Process Continues...and things are about to get REAL, people!!

So, here we are at another huge step!

We just got our official MATCHED paperwork (LOSC/LOA) from China and we just submitted some paperwork (i800) to immigration (USCIS) for permission to bring home Frannie and Finn.

The process moves quickly from here!!

1.    i800 Approval will come around 4/20 and we will get it by snail mail

2.    We will receive a GUZ number a week later (4/27) which just means our case has been assigned to Guangzhou, China

3.    With this number we can contact the National Visa Center and request a PDF showing that our file has been forwarded to the Embassy in Guangzhou around 4/28 or 4/29

4.    My agency will then send the PDF to their in country staff.  This allows them to drop off our offical documents at the US Consulate and our Art 5 process begins.

5.    The Art 5 process always takes 10 business days, so drop off would be on 5/4 and pick up on 5/18 ideally.

6.    Once our Art 5 is picked up, our paperwork is sent to the China Center for Children's Welfare and Adoption (CCCWA) in Beijing and our Travel Approval (TA) wait begins!  This wait is currently around 7-14 days, average being 10-11.  So, we are hoping to receive it on May 27th or 28th at the latest.

7.  Our travel dates will be either June 4th-27th or June 25th-July 16th.  Finton's turns THREE on June 19th, so I would love to make it there while he's still two!  But, there is a slim chance that will happen.  The Dragon Boat Festival is the week of the 22nd, so that's right in the middle of our original travel plans.  They will not allow you to meet your children that week, so we have to get our kids either before that week or after.  I'm going to do my best to get there as soon as I can, and ultimately leave the timing up to God.  He knows what's best for everyone.

And all this mumbo-jumbo means is....I'm going to meet my babies in 64-85 DAYS!!!!  

We still have around $10,000-12,000 to raise.  We are still waiting for our grant applications to be processed, but many of those we may not hear about until June!

Soooo....  I'm going to start begging.  :)

We still have 66 pieces of our puzzle to be sponsored.  So far we have 33 pieces sponsored for a total of $776!  This is awesome!  But if the 66 pieces left were to be sponsored, it would raise us $4274 MORE!

We are going to double frame this puzzle for Frannie and Finn.  On one side they will search for many traditional Chinese items for fun, and on the other will be a list of names of sponsors who helped us get them home!  It will be such an awesome keepsake!

We need help and we are nearing the end of this part of our journey.  A journey that has brought me to my knees more times than I can count.  I am in such a vulnerable position asking others to help us adopt, but I know that I know that I know that I know this is God's Will for these kids and our family.  So, I hope our friends and family see this as helping God's plans and not just our own agenda.  I will be forever grateful for all those who have helped us thus far, and all those I know will step up to help us reach the finish line!  THANK YOU!!!!

Pieces range from #1 to #100 and pieces already sponsored are #1-21, 24, 25, 27, 28, 30, 33, 35, 40, 42, 50, 60, 76 and 100.  Payments can be made to or a tax-deductible donation can be made HERE (sending a check avoids the 3% fee).  Please comment or message me on Facebook to let me know you have donated!!

Thank you for following our journey!!