Aug 29, 2012

Mei Mei Emily and Gabriella Reunited!!!!

Oh what a happy day it was when we pulled into Mei Mei Emily's driveway 


To say the girls were just a little bit excited to see each other would be an 


The boys took off for the NASCAR race while the girls, little and big, all 

enjoyed our girl time together!  Robert and Mary were so sweet and invited 

Gabriella and I to stay with them in their home.  We couldn't have had a 

better time together!!  The big boys have always wanted to camp and camping 

is what they did!

The girls played, giggled, talk, sang and enjoyed doing everything little girls 

like to do!

Gabbie had been counting the days down until we went to see Emily.

Emily woke her mom and dad up at 6:00 am asking where we were out of 


We talked about how long the girls would allow us to dress them alike and 

take pictures...

and though we aren't sure, we do know one thing and that is that we are 

enjoying every single moment that they are having fun with it now!!

Mary did an awesome job getting the girls to giggle...

and giggle!!!!

As we were driving to Chick-Fil-A I looked back to see the girls holding hands!  

They do this A LOT!!

Emily was soooo patient!  She is such a big girl and can go to sleep on her 

own while her "big" sister Gabriella still needs her mama to go to sleep.  After 

lots of giggles, singing, the changing of night lights including stars on the 

ceiling Mary and I both ended up getting the girls to go to sleep!  It was a 

very short trip and when the girls had to say goodbye the next day it was 

hard, very hard!  But, as we have said, it's not goodbye, it's see ya next 

time...and that we will!!!  We are so thankful that while the girls started their 

lives together, in a very tiny foster home in China that God allowed their 

forever families to only live two states away from one another!! A bond that 

God began in China is now able to be carried out for the rest of their lives and 

for that, we are eternally thankful!!!

Aug 22, 2012

Divine Intervention...Adahlyn and Gabriella

Have you ever had one of those moments in your life that you know, beyond a 

shadow of a doubt that God is intervening?  If you have, you know exactly 

what I'm talking about...if not, I pray that you can experience it in your life 

time!  In 2010 both of these girls lived in Taiyuan China, and both needed 

their forever families. 

Adahlyn was part of a wonderful Christian organization in China, New Day 

Foster Home that sponsors orphans. I saw this little girl and was totally 

captivated!  I watched videos of her, looked at all of her baby pictures they 

had on line, prayed for her and even asked our agency, ASIA, to find her file.  

ASIA looked for a few months yet was unable to find her file.  The week 

before we received Gabriella's referral God asked me very gently "Teresa, if 

ASIA calls with a referral I hope that you will at least open your heart and 

mind and consider the little one they call you about".  Two days later ASIA 

called with Gabriella's referral! When I looked at Gabriella's photo I knew 

beyond a shadow of a doubt she was my daughter; but my heart ached for 

Adahlyn, what if she was never adopted?  What if she didn't find a family?

Within 36 hours Alycia made a post on LCC (Loving China's Children) an 

AWESOME Christian resource for parents adopting from China.  She starts 

describing a little girl in China and that their family has been desperately 

trying to find her file for months and months!  The little girl she is looking 

for...Adahlyn!!!!!!!  At that moment tears filled my eyes as I knew, beyond a 

shadow of a doubt, that not only was Gabriella MY daughter but that Adahlyn 

had a mommy desperately looking for her!  God saw my heart rejoicing that 

we had Gabriella but breaking for this very special little girl that had captured 

my heart and he answered my prayers, she had a home, a family who already 

loved her and wanted her to complete their family!!!!!!  At this point Alycia 

and I met and began corresponding and developed a wonderful friendship!!  

She gave me all kinds of advice, at all hours of the night, about China 

adoption, flying over, what to expect etc.  She was and is wonderful!!!

Sophie, one of Adahlyn's older sisters, Gabbie and Adahlyn having a good time 

following  Alycia's birthday celebration dinner at P.F.Changs in Florida!

Alycia and I, with our girls!  The girls God created so perfectly, on the other 

side of the world, for each of our families!  What amazed us so much was how 

Adahlyn and Gabriella hit if off immediately!!  They sat next to each other at 

the restaurant, played on our cell phones and had a great time getting to 

know each other.  The entire meal I kept thinking to myself that only God 

could have intervened in both of our lives like this and blessed us each with 

such a precious gifts, our daughters!  I truly believe that Adahlyn was part of 

God's plan  and she helped lead us to Gabriella, and for this I will ALWAYS be 


Aug 21, 2012

Rosemary Beach, Florida!

I have some serious catching up to do on our blog!!  It's funny, I thought I 

would have lots of free time being home with my favorite munchkins this 

summer, but it seems like life had other plans!  Let's begin with our awesome 

trip to Rosemary Beach Florida!!

While we have been blessed to go to Florida many times, as it's been a crazy 

type of last few months I was excited to find some place that was a little less 

commercialized, no high rises and ...well as peaceful as it could be with a 

family our size!  The BEST part was that my BFF and her family from Colorado 

were able to join us AND dad and Lori came too!!

My Aly girl, who was my first baby girl, and Gabriella.  These two spent LOTS, 

and LOTS of time together! Aly was very patient with my Gabbie girl!

Speaking of Gabbie someone became a little fish mermaid as I was informed 

while we were in Florida.

Someone else, well, let's say he enjoyed his time in the pool too!

Jordy and Papaw having an in-depth conversation.

And Gabbie wanting to make sure she was in on the action.

Aunti Jen was just W-A-Y to excited to give Gabriella this outfit!!  Yes it is a 

BRONCOS Peyton Manning jersey!!!  Needless to say we LOVED it and she is 

the FIRST in the family to receive the new Peyton jersey!

We truly didn't take that many pictures on our vaca so some were taken with 

our IPhones!  This was a big girl shopping day while the boys and Gabbie went 

to race go karts!  As Curtis dropped me off Gabriella verbally gave me my 

shopping list for her "Now mommy, don't forget I need skirts, shirts, dresses, 

high heels...." yet she wanted to go go-karting with the boys...Oh My!!

Curtis lounging by the pool.

Gabbie and Nick playing in the pool..these two have come such a long way!!

Having big brothers isn't such a bad thing!

Lovin on two of her bros!

The sun wasn't cooperating too well but I just love this little outfit on her and 

wanted to capture it:)

Our little princess!

My daddy and I!

Dad, Lori and I before we had a "good ol Indiana dinner".  Jennifer's amazing 

tenderloins and we made a huge pot of chili.  We also had shrimp cocktail for 

an appetizer and Gabbie's dip...quite a combination but everyone was happy!

I didn't take the camera down to the beach so this is from my IPhone.  The 

truth is Jennifer and I had a wonderful time with "girl talk" sitting by the 

ocean! One thing about a BFF is you can have the best intentions in the world 

to read by the beach but when you only get to see each other a couple times 

of the year, we found ourselves talking for hours on end...and it was great!!!!

We had a very nice time in Florida!!  While there were a couple of things going 

on that we had to work through while on vaca, it was soooo nice to be at the 

beach, listen to the waves and spend time with family, and more family!  

Since coming home this blond yellow hair is now a thing of the past and I 

couldn't be more excited! Gabriella is happy as my hair looks a little more like 

her hair!

Aug 10, 2012

Chicken Chili...Mexican Style!

Gabriella and I are both LOVE soup ~ like we could eat it 90% of the time and be perfectly happy!!  Today was a fall like day with temps in the sixties, cloudy and windy so that instantly brought out the desire for soup in both of us!

This recipe is one of the EASIEST homemade soups you will ever make, and it involves the crock pot, so that's a real winner in our book!!


1 rotisserie chicken, shredded
1 small can of petite diced tomatoes
3 small cans of beans, your choice ~ I used brooks chili hot, kidney and pinto beans
1 can mexicorn
1 24 ounce jar of pace medium chunky salsa
2 cups of water
1 packet taco seasoning
1 packet hidden valley ranch


Drain kidney and pinto beans, but do not rinse.  Put all ingredients into the crock pot and cook on high for 2-4 hours or low 4-6 hours.

Gabriella loves to add sour cream to anything that resembles chili or Mexican food and she was all over it when it came to adding sour cream to her bowl of soup!  We made sweet corn bread to have with the soup and the butter melted all over it ~ it was delicious!!    Enjoy!!

Aug 8, 2012

Our Family Fireman!!!

We were able to go visit our oldest son, Daniel, in his new home of North 

Carolina.  It was a L-O-N-G awaited trip and we couldn't have had a better 

time!!!  Daniel is the newest firefighter in his city and we couldn't be MORE 


He was excited to show dad all the big tools he is allowed to use!!!  Think of 

the sounds Tim the Tool Man Taylor use to make from the show Home 

Improvements and that's pretty much what that moment was like!

One of the trucks in their department.

I'm sooooooo proud of my oldest that I can't even put it into words!  He has 

direction for his life and truly LOVES helping others!

Dad is VERY proud of him too!!!

Eric and Daniel went to high school together and ended up down in North 

Carolina.  Eric is an awesome guy and has one of the best families in the 

world! It makes this mama feel more secure knowing he has a friend down


The guys!

We spent the afternoon out on a pontoon boat on Lake Norman and had a 

wonderful time.  Such a good time that well, we will leave some of the details 

to just be memories for those of us that were there LOL:)

We went to a really neat restaurant on the lake called The Rusty Rutter and 

was yummy!!!!  It is a definite repeat when we return for a visit.  It was 

awesome as we were able to take the boat to the restaurant:)

All four of my babies together!!  So different in many areas but they all have a 

servants heart and have a true desire to help those in need; that makes this 

mama's heart very, very happy!!

Someone misses his little sister! 

We worked on Christmas card pictures while we were all together too.  Eric 

was wonderful and humored me by taking dozens of pictures.  I love the 

Christmas cards where you can put a variety of pictures on them so the 

wheels are already turning with all the photos we have:)

Look at this one carefully...Jordan is 19, Nicholas is 14 and Daniel is 21...and 

look to see who the tallest one is...yep, little bro is LOVIN this!!!  He had a 

knee injury this spring requiring and MRI and his favorite part of the 

results...were that his growth plates are still wide open meaning he still has 

some growing to do!!

Eric and Gabriella hanging out at the pool following boating on the lake:)  We 

liked the fact we could see the bottom and knew there weren't any "creatures" 

swimming with us:)

If you have a moment to say a prayer for this incredible young man I would 

greatly appreciate it!  Daniel is supporting himself by working 60 hours a week 

in lawn care, volunteering 3 nights a week on the fire department as that is 

how all fireman start out in North Carolina but is also taking  classes to 

complete his EMT training by December.  Following his EMT training, he will 

begin working on the ambulance crew while he completes his paramedic 

training for a paramedic degree.  He has plans to further his education after 

that in regard to trauma training and possibly fire science.  Daniel has spent a 

lot of time searching for his calling in life and God has given him direction that 

he couldn't be more excited about! We couldn't be more proud of you Daniel 

and we love you with all of our hearts!! 

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