Wednesday, January 30, 2008

New Pictures!!!

Not much time to write now, but I wanted to add these pictures right quick. We just received them this afternoon. I couldn't decide which one I liked best, so I just added all three! Everything is going great. I'll try to write more later today.


Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Update On The Plans

Preparations are coming along, and all is going well so far. There are two other families with Holt who will be at the Thai adoption board meeting with us. It has been fun emailing them as they get ready too. Their travel approvals were a total surprise, and they are scrambling to get everything done by the time we leave. We, on the other hand, would have been surprised if we had NOT been called, so we're a little ahead of the game. However, that definitely doesn't mean we won't be scrambling the last week ourselves!

I booked our flights Sunday, and we are flying out of Shreveport at 6:55 am on Thursday the 21st. (My parents are coming a couple of days before to keep Ian.) We will meet Olivia for the first time Sunday morning, go to the board meeting on Wed, do some paperwork at the embassy on Thursday, and then have Friday through Sunday to travel or see more of Bangkok. I think all three families may try to go to the beach, which suits us since we have been to Bangkok before. We will leave to come home on March 5th. I have posted our flight itinerary (to the left) and will include a process schedule later. If you follow our trip, don't think we'll leave Dallas and be in Tokyo 4 hours later!!! I'll have to see how many hours ahead we'll be- should be around 13 or so.

For an update on Brian's dad, he was admitted into the hospital again yesterday. He finished his chemo in December, but began experiencing a lot of pain the week before Christmas. He was eventually diagnosed with shingles, but I'm not sure if everyone is convinced that is the correct diagnosis. Please pray the doctors can relieve is pain and find out exactly what is going on. He is a wonderful man, and I know he and Brian's mom want to come to Shreveport to help take care of Ian while we're gone and celebrate when Olivia comes home.

Also, I and another lady at church are coordinating the women's retreat again this year, so I am also working on that at the same time we are preparing for Olivia. It is a pretty involved project- overnight, out of town, catered meals, speaker from Nashville, etc. It's fun though, and I hated not to do it again. Booking the hotel and events center are the main things on my to-do list today.

I hope everyone has a great day!


Thursday, January 17, 2008

4 Weeks 6 Days. . .And Counting!!!

We finally got the call yesterday! The board in Thailand met Wed of LAST week, so I had just about given up for a travel approval call from our agency. I had even written in over the weekend to ask other waiting families if we could still get a call Mon or Tues, and they said "yes", but since it was already Wed I was getting discouraged. Then, about mid-day yesterday I saw where a family had just received their approval to travel. I was so happy for them but very disappointed and discouraged we hadn't been called. On the other hand, maybe there was still hope for us. Everywhere I went, that phone went with me! In addition, I was going to be preparing a meal last night for our neighbors who were leaving this morning to go get their daughter in China. I kept telling myself- "all in God's time" and trying to be patient. THEN about 4:45, with the phone within hand's reach of course, it rang and the caller ID said "Holt" (our agency)! Don't you know my heart skipped a beat. . .or two! Marissa said we had received first approval, which means travel approval, and that we would be attending the February 27th meeting in Thailand. I calmly said, "Thank you. We are so excited," but inside my heart was jumping!

Now, after sleeping on it, the excitement is no less. I'm getting ready to make some calls to inform our family and then on to flight and hotel reservations. Hopefully, the time will go quickly and Olivia will be home where she belongs! I know many families are frantic with so much to do, and although we do have plenty to do ourselves, we have already been preparing for quite some time. I told Brian the other night that I wanted to be able to go slowly and enjoy the preparations, not flying around in a dither the last few weeks. Hopefully, we'll be able to do that. Olivia's room is not too far from being ready, the highchair, carseat, and stroller have been purchased, and the to-do list has been made. Now, if I can just concentrate on the list!

Well, I've got to get busy (but not in a dither!) to find some good flights and get to work on those curtains! I'm happy to be able to share our good news with you, and I hope you enjoy reading about our progress as we count down the days!


Sunday, January 6, 2008

Where Does the Time Go?!

It's amazing how fast the time passes. I must remember that when I anxiously look at my calendar every day and count down the (predicted) number of days until we bring Olivia home! I say "predicted" because we continue to wait for an exact travel date. Hopefully, there will be news this week! Making preparations for her arrival has been fun and seems to help pass the time. Yesterday a friend helped me look for toddler beds, and Wednesday we will go to Jackson, MS to resubmit our fingerprints. Because Brian had some scheduled meetings in Bogalusa, LA, which isn't far from Jackson, we'll spend the rest of the week with him. As I may have mentioned in my last post, Ian loves staying in hotels and traveling, so he'll enjoy running around too- and we can check off another week closer!

As far as other news, Ian had an appointment with Shriners the other day and was fitted for new leg splints. We're looking forward to getting those next Monday and ordering a walker for him to use at school. He is able to use a cane and walk while holding someones hand, but tends to sit down often. The school, much to our disappointment, resorted to pushing him in a wheelchair to make it easier for them to get him to the classes in which he is mainstreamed. Hopefully, a walker with a seat will be recommended so that when he does sit down, he will still have to make some effort to get to his class- instead of just sitting back in a wheelchair while someone pushes him around. He's got it made right now!

Since Ian returns to school tomorrow, I've got to get busy on the women's church retreat. This is my second year to co-lead it, and since I'll be out of pocket for several weeks, I need to get the majority of the work done now. I've got a great partner to work with, and although she is very busy, she is a pleasure to work with.

A follow-up to the tire swing installation: All went well, and Ian LOVES it. He has fallen through the tire twice, but while he was still down he signaled "more" (by clapping his hands twice)! He's tough and I'm not sure there is anything that could dampen his enthusiasm for swinging!

Happy New Year!