Saturday, April 26, 2008


Mylei Mei Li Na

I have waited a long time for this!! I realize they about the smallest pictures in the world.  We tried a million ways to make them bigger, but nothing worked.  I'll see what I can do later.  I wanted to get them up, so just go get a magnifying glass!
P.S.  We are not going to keep the mohawk!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Yippee!! We have a PA!!!!!!!!!

We finally got a PA and while I am excited that we are actually moving though the process now, I am still frustrated that is has taken this long. Anyway, our PA is dated April 17th, so we start the counting for the LOA from this date. It can take anywhere from 2-4 months. The average is 28 days. The average for a PA was about 8 days but it took me 4 times as long.... I refuse to think that my LOA will take that long. I will post a picture really soon! I am out of town at a Women of Faith conference. I should have it up tomorrow night!!


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Going to hell and back..... and so excited about it!

Did I say I had a good feeling about last week?  I was just kidding!  

So, if your counting, and I am sure all of you are, this is DAY 37!!!!!!  37 and still nothing!  And, remember my thought about skipping that part, forget it!!  I am still waiting on an initial PA.  Why?  Who the heck knows???   But, I do know where someone came up with the term "slow boat to China".  Is there another boat??  Because if there is, I want  on it!!!!  

Word at my agency is that in the last 6 months, no one has skipped that step.  Why??  Because apparently different people at the CCAA do things differently for different agencies.  So, whoever works on my agency's has been sitting around doing NOTHING!!  While other people are getting their PA's in 8 days and then an LOA 29-35 days later (average), we are still waiting on Connie Chung to process a few pages!  I am so frustrated, in case you can't tell.  I realize God has his own time table and one would think after this many years that I would know it is best to wait for him. I am just getting really weary of the journey.  I feel like my whole life is on hold.  I don't know when I can plan on travel.  If it's not before the Olympics, am I going to have to wait until October???  How fair is that to her, us or the foster parents???  With every day that passes, it's going to be harder for everyone involved.  As a matter of fact, I was explaining the foster family situation to this amazing lady at my church, who has adopted 8 children.  She put her hand on my arm and said, "Your trip to China is going to be hell!!"  Her experience tells her that this little girl is going to grieve and it's not going to involve one or two tears.

On a different note, I did write the foster family.  This is what I said:

To the wonderful people taking care of Mylei,

Thank you so much for caring for and loving Mylei.  We are sure it is going to be very difficult to see her leave.  We can only imagine how much you love her.  We are so thankful for you.

We are very, very excited to welcome Mylei into our home.  We have been waiting for her for a long time.  We want you to know that we will take very good care of her.  I (April) stay home with the children.  I do not have a job outside the home.  We have 3 other children also.  A daughter, Shelby (10), a daughter, Gracie (7) and a son, Jackson (5).  They are so excited to be getting a sister.  They talk about her everyday.  We live in an area with lots of children, so she will have lots of friends.  We go to a church where at least 3 other families have also adopted several children from China.  We will teach her about her culture. We will celebrate Chinese holidays.  We will tell her all about you and how you took such great care of her.  We will provide for her needs.  We have access to great doctors who will help us care for Mylei.  Mylei also has grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins who are eagerly waiting her arrival.

If you would like, we would also remain in contact with you.  We would love to send you updates and photos of Mylei as she grows.

I know this process must be very difficult for you.  We wanted to assure you that we love her already.  She will receive the best care possible.  We think she is getting a great family!

Thanks again for all you have done!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The longest name EVER

Where did we come up with Mylei's name??  Well, I guess all things are subject to change, and since she's a bit older than we originally expected, we may have to make some adjustments along the way.  (Did I mention that every bit of clothing I bought BEFORE we decided to go special needs was 18-24 months??  Mylei is 17 months until April 25 and then she will be 18 months.  Kinda weird, huh??  Why did I buy this size when I originally asked for a baby girl as young as possible??)

Anyway, when we were paperchasing WAY BACK in Feb of 2006.  I heard a name that I just loved.  Now, before I tell you where I heard the name, I want to say that any name we chose was going to have to end with the e sound, like Shelby and Gracie!  So, I was up on a Saturday morning, watching with my girls, the very first episode of Hannah Montana.  That's when I heard the name Miley.  I loved it.  I thought is had a bit of a southern flare like the rest of our children's names (Shelby and Jackson are from Steel Magnolia's).  Miley just seemed to fit right in.  I had no idea the phenomenon she would become so sometimes I want to change my mind, but I still just love it.  We have called her that for years and I LOVE the way my little speech challenged man, Jackson, says her name.  With that said, there are some variations on the name.  Meili is a chinese name that means beautiful (not sure how to officially pronounce but it looks close.  I believe Lei in Chinese means joy.  So, Mylei would make her MY joy:-)  Now that we settled on that name almost certainly, we had to come up with the rest of her name.  I liked Mei  (pronounced May) in Chinese because I believe it means little sister.  (Now, all you veteran China adopters out there, don't burst my bubble if I am wrong about these things!:-)  So, we have Mylei Mei.  But, then I read somewhere that when adopting children a bit older, the name that she has been called should be incorporated, especially at the beginning when calling her by name.  (It would be odd to have these white people show up, rip you away from everything you've ever known and start calling you something you've never heard.)  So, the suggestion would be to call her Li Na (leena) (that is her official Chinese name) Li Na Mylei.  Then we could transition to just Mylei.  So, now we have Mylei Mei Li Na (pronounced altogether sounds like Meilina (mayleena).  And, I also wanted her to feel part of me since she is not biological. So, we gave her my middle name.  Her official name (at least as of 4/16/08) will be

Mylei Mei Li Na Kathryn Isaacs  
whew... that is a mouthful, but it I think it is pretty!!

P.S.  The picture above was our Christmas 2007 picture.  It said NOT PICTURED Mylei coming in 2008!:-)

Monday, April 14, 2008


Since I still can't show you Mylei....

Here's a picture of another new member of our family!  Before you say, aaahhhhhhh.  You should know, she's satan.  Can't you tell by the her eyes??  Seriously, isn't one of his (satan's) names 'the destroyer'???  Well, that's her.  Don't let her cuteness fool you.  We got her at a shelter.  They named her LuLu so we kept it because we thought it was cute.  BUT, no one told us it was short for LUCIFER!!   Also, she's so little in the picture.  She's a horse now!!  They told us she would weigh between 35-40 lbs.  She's 7 months old and weighs AT LEAST 50 lbs.  Don't they grow for a full year??  Oh, good heavens!!  How do I get myself into these things.  One final factoid about LuLu.  She's as strong as an ox!  I am not kidding!  I thought it would be funny to have my friend hold her leash when I saw someone coming up to the house (she loves people so I knew she'd go crazy).  Well, she literally pulled my friend across the entire yard.  I laughed the rest of the day and went to bed laughing about it.  Paul told me it wasn't funny.  He said my friend about went head over heels.  Paul needs to get a sense of humor!!  So much for getting a dog the kids could walk.  All they get to do it walk to pick up her poop!

*************NEW INFORMATION ABOUT MYLEI************

Our agency called yesterday to tell us why we have not been given updated photos.  We have asked for them twice and been told they would come soon.  Still waiting.... at this point, why am I surprised about waiting???  We were told that her foster parents were grieving heavily.  That's really sad.  I am so glad they love her.  She must be a real joy and pleasure to be around. (yeah for us!!)  But, what does that have to do with taking a picture???  Our agency said the CCAA was having to intervene.  I have an idea... how about we just wait patiently?????

We did receive something from the National Visa Center yesterday.  That was a nice reminder that we really are still adopting.  It means we were given a case number and that our stuff has been sent to the US Consulate in China!!  Yippee!!!  We have a case number!!!

By the way, I calculated wrong, this is Day 29!

Also, leave me a comment if you are reading!  That makes this much more fun!  (at least fun for me!:-)

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Day 26... but who's counting

Well, it's been 26 days since we sent in our LOI and still nothing. HOWEVER, I have a good feeling about this week. I could be wrong, I have been before, I just think this is going to be THE week.

So, since I can't show you her, I'll show you where she lives. Mylei is in the Henan province (light orange in the center) in the Sanmenxia Social Welfare Institute. Sanmenxia is located at the bend of the Yangtze River (AKA- the yellow river). I don't know much about this area or about the orphanage. I have only been able to connect with two other moms who are adopting children from the same orphanage. Other than these two, I have never even heard of this city or this orphanage.

China has lots of social welfare institutes. So, when following the journeys of other adopting parents, you learn lots of names. It is unusual not to recognize cities or orphanages. China, however, has recently opened up some of the other orphanages allowing them to send paper work in for children to be adopted. Sadly, there are many other orphanages not allowed to send in paperwork for lots more children. This is a very difficult thing for me to imagine.

We won't know where we pick Mylei up until our travel arrangements are given. In other words, I am not even sure if we will get to see Sanmenxia City. I used to be very insistent about NOT visiting her orphanage if given the chance. Sometimes it's an option sometimes it's not. I thought it would be way too difficult for me emotionally. But, I've done a lot of thinking. Now, I think if I can, I will visit her orphanage. I don't want to look back on this trip and have any regrets. As I said in an earlier post, I am not very adventurous, but God has clearly challenged me. This is definitely THE GREAT ADVENTURE for me!!!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Patience is a virtue

If your checking for something new, so am I:-)  I wait everyday until 11-12 on pins and needles.  The phone rings and my heart leaps.  Why?  Because China is 12 hours behind us.  So, our agency comes in in the morning and goes through emails, etc...  Then, if something really important comes in, like an LOA (see sidebar), they call.  

I thought the next thing we were waiting on was a PA and maybe, we will still get one.  Or, according to some others who are a few steps ahead of us, we could get just get the LOA first since we have been logged in with the CCAA FOREVER!!!!!!!  After the LOA, it will take 3-5 weeks to get a TA.  Then, another 2-4 weeks later, we will travel.  There have been those receiving  these things in record time.  I would like to be one of those people.  Would you pray with us??  Of course we want God's timing ultimately, but it's so hard to think of that little girl that we have fallen in love with sitting in an orphanage.  Plus, we really would love to travel before the Olympic mess and we certainly DO NOT want to travel after it!  That would be torture!!

Check back tomorrow!  One of these tomorrow's, there will be big news:-)  How's that for positive!!??

P.S.  Posts have been less frequent because, well, ummmmmm..........  I dropped my computer and broke it.  Yes, that is bad! But what's worse is that, this little boy (not mine)picked this little piece off my keyboard, so the whole keyboard has to be replaced.  Total to cost to fix-$800 (We won't be fixing it!)

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Mama Hen and her chicks

I'd like to think I would have something to post by now, like a PICTURE... of our baby!! But, I got nothing! No new news!

So, back to the story, back to how we got where we are today. (If you are reading for the first time, scroll down and read the very first entry. The entries are listed newest to oldest.)

After the Steven Curtis Chapman concert, my emotions went from knowing God could provide to never being able to afford an adoption. So, I did nothing to move toward adoption.

UNTIL, Paul came home one day and told me there was an informational meeting with Families Thru International Adoption (FTIA) and that we were going! He didn't ask me if I wanted to go, he told me I was going! Sheesh! Bossy! This occured at the end of Nov 2005.
Here is where I need to share my sinful, prideful side. If it's not my idea, then I don't go! And if I do go, I go kicking and screaming. The really bad part is that it is usually only where Paul is concerned! I am not sure why I am like this with him. I'd like to think I am a very teachable person. "Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisors they succeed"- one of my life verses (Proverbs). I ask the advise of many before making most decisions, so I highly value the opinions of others who I know walk with the Lord. The ironic part is I don't know of many other people who's walk is as true as Paul's. He is the real deal. The things he teaches others and talks about, he lives himself. He has my highest respect and I love him dearly. Most of the time, I don't even realize I am balking at his ideas, but here is the classic example. One time Paul was reading Donald Miller books and really enjoying them. He kept telling me that I should read them, he said I would really like them too. I was like, "yeah, yeah, yeah." Then Donald Miller came to Cedarville to speak. He tried very hard to get me to go. I didn't even try to find a babysitter. But, then my good friend Donna and I were talking one day, and she was telling me how much she loved Donald Miller and his books. So, the next day, since she said it, I started the first book and ended up reading all four of his books in one week!! Isn't that awful??

So, Paul arranges for his parents to watch the kids while we go to the meeting in Cincinnati. I rolled my eyes. The day we were to go, the weather men were calling for bad weather, (and you know weather men are always right) and a tornado watch was issued. The skies were dark and the wind blowing forcefully. I tried to tell him that we shouldn't go in this weather. If I stay home and sit on my little chicks, everything will be fine. He didn't listen.

At the meeting, they talked about every detail of the process. But, during one section of the talk, my ears perked up because they mentioned something about having an infectious disease in an infectious stage and not being able to adopt. The end of the line I thought. So, after the meeting, which included parents and the adorable children they just adopted, I asked one of the agency employees about Paul and his Hepatitus C. (In case you don't know this story, Paul had aplastic anemia when he was 12. He had a 3% chance to live. He was given 90 gallons of blood transfusions which is where he contracted the Hep C.) Anyway, she said she thought it would be fine because it is very difficult to pass, etc...

So, I enjoyed the meeting but I didn't leave excited about adopting. I saw the price tag,
again!! And, since I think I have failed to mention this before, I was also terrified of traveling half -way across the world to China. Imagine that, me afraid! If you know me, my idea of adventure is moving one county away from the county I spent my whole life in, but only for 4 years while Paul worked at Cedarville University, then we gotta go back to that other county. My mind always goes to the worst case scenario. I was always envisioning myself in China being tortured because I was a Christian. You know, Chinese torture where they tie you up and then let one drop of water hit your head. Then a few minutes later, another drip. This going on for years. Or I'd see myself being burnt at the stake... all kinds of lovely ways to die!! And, because that was not enough fear, I would think about my kids being at home. Kidnappers would circle my kids like vultures. Houses would catch fire with them sleeping inside, lifeguards would let them drown,... You get the idea. It's a lovely way to live. I bet that is why the Bible says, "
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things."Phi 4:8

Again though, I did nothing... until God sent the agency to call me!!