Forever Young

Saturday, February 25, 2012


This past week, our church threw us a shower for Karis! We are so blessed to have a wonderful church family. They have been very supportive of us throughout this adoption process! Here are a few pictures from the shower:

I got to wear the Mommy-to-Be crown and sash!

The cake was so cute! You can't really see the hearts on the front of the cake, but one says Brandon and one says Bekah!

These are the best cookies ever! They spelled out Karis Joy and then the other cookies said things like hope, chosen, loved, etc.

Opening the gifts is always fun!

This was the decor on the entrance to the shower!

Karis Joy Young

Well, we've been holding out on showing off pictures of our new daughter until things were official. I think we've waited long enough, so here is our daughter...Karis Joy Young!

So, we had figured out that we'd probably be travelling to China to get her sometime in April. Then we got an email from our agency several weeks ago that said we should be ready to travel in late March or early April! Then, this week we got another email that said it could be even in late April! Ugh. I am soooooo tired of waiting. I feel like I've been pretty patient throughout most of this process, but I'm quickly running out of patience! I want my daughter to be home with us now!! It's still a possibility that we could travel in late March or early April, but there are no guarantees. We are confident that we will go at just the right time that God has planned for us. So, you can pray that my patience lasts that long! And while you're at it just pray that the CCCWA (China Center for Children's Welfare and Adoption) gives us travel approval quickly and that we can get at appointment at the US Consulate in Guangzhou soon!!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

New Room

We have been working on getting everything ready for Karis's arrival. She'll be sharing a bedroom with Bekah, so we've had to do some work in there getting things ready. We took out Bekah's bed and added a bunk bed instead. We got a bigger bookshelf and took out the smaller one. We also took out my old toybox and added a second chest of drawers. We also had to touch up some paint and re-do the border that Bekah had ripped off when she was very young. Here are the before and after photos!


Now we just need a little girl to sleep in that bottom bunk!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Valentine's Day!

I think our kids were slightly spoiled this year for Valentine's Day! But, I guess that is okay every once in a while! When they got up I fixed them heart shaped french toast for breakfast! Bekah had received a heart shaped straw from someone recently so she got to drink out of that!

We also had our first snow of the winter! It wasn't a whole lot of snow, but the kids were thrilled to get to go out and play in the snow. The schools were delayed for 2 hours, so they got to play with the neighborhood kids before they all had to go in to get ready for school. Brandon and Bekah got the day off from school though; it was our snow day/Valentine's Day holiday!

After playing in the snow, the kids opened cards from Grandmom and Grandpa. They got some money to spend, so after everyone got warmed up with hot chocolate and changed clothes we went out for them to spend their money. Mommy and Daddy pitched in a little bit of money also and Bekah ended up with a stash of clothes and accessories for her American Girl doll. We got the clothes at Michaels and they were actually pretty cheap (unlike the actual American Girl clothes). Brandon ended up with 2 pre-owned games from Gamestop. We stopped for lunch at McDonalds while we were out and the kids spent their gift certificates that they had received for Christmas. And since they had more money than the cost of a happy meal, they added cookies to their order! I did have to stop at the grocery store while we were out, but then we headed home. Daddy left work a bit early and came home and took everybody to the theater to see Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (we had a gift certificate to pay for part of that also!). After the movie we had dinner at IHOP which is a favorite for everyone! We stopped by Target and got a new game to play and came home and played it. We celebrated from the time we got up until the time we went to bed that night!
And here are the beautiful roses that Todd got me for Valentine's Day! He also got me some chocolate covered strawberries which everyone enjoyed! And he got the usual....A Reese's peanut butter heart!

Adoption Expenses

Adoption is expensive. I never really understood why until we started our own adoption process. You don't just write a $30,000 check to some adoption agency who is getting rich from adoptions. I've been tracking all of our adoption expenses so that I can explain to others why it is so expensive. To date we have spent $12,246.63 and we still have the bulk of the expenses left to pay as we travel to China. I'm sure this information will be quite boring to most people, but if you are interested in why adoption is so expensive, here is our list to date of our expenses. I'll post the final list later on. (Although it won't really be final for 5 more years as we are required to pay for post-adoption home study reports for 5 years after our adoption!) I also want to mention that we have had many people who have helped support us financially throughout this process. I also plan on posting a list of those people's names when it is finalized also. We are currently selling tickets to an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast to raise money! God has been so good to provide for all our our adoption expenses up until now, and I trust that He will continue to provide the rest of the money that we need!
Date Reason Amount
01/17/11 FTIA Application Fee 200.00
01/18/11 Postage for Application 1.22
01/26/11 Todd's birth certificates 45.00
01/26/11 Heather's birth certificates 40.00
01/26/11 money order fee for GA birth certificate 5.00
01/26/11 postage for GA birth certificate request C&RR 5.54
02/03/11 Marriage certificates & Brandon's birth certificate 55.00
02/03/11 AHSS Application Fee 100.00
02/08/11 AHSS Fee 500.00
02/08/11 Dr. co-pays for Todd and Heather 40.00
02/15/11 Heart of the Matter training program 174.00
02/16/11 Money order for criminal history check 19.00
02/16/11 Postage for criminal history check C & RR 5.54
02/23/11 Dr. co-pays for Brandon and Bekah 40.00
03/04/11 Fee for Floyd County Criminal Records Check 16.00
03/11/11 Final AHSS Fee 1000.00
03/12/11 Passport Photos 18.40
03/16/11 Passport Fees 220.00
03/16/11 Post Office Fees for Passport 50.00
03/18/11 Dr. exams for H & T not covered by insurance 288.00
03/22/11 Postage for KY child abuse checks C &RR 5.54
03/22/11 Locking gun cases for home study 104.82
03/23/11 Lab work for H & T not covered by insurance 186.50
04/15/11 Ship documents to FTIA via UPS 8.23
04/29/11 US Dept. of Homeland Security 1800A application 890.00
04/29/11 Ship documents to USCIS via UPS 9.12
05/16/11 GA Sec. of State Fee 10.00
05/16/11 Tn Sec. of State Fee 4.00
05/16/11 Ship to GA, TN, and IN Sec. of State via UPS 53.49
05/17/11 KY County Clerk certification fees 45.00
05/18/11 KY Sec. of State Fee 45.00
05/18/11 Ship to KY Sec. of State via UPS 10.96
06/02/11 Ship to GA via UPS again 14.63
06/16/11 US Dept. of State Fee 80.00
06/16/11 Ship to US Dept. of State via UPS 19.37
06/22/11 Money Order to Chinese Consulate & Fee (Texas) 30.00
06/22/11 Ship documents to TX consulate via Fed Ex 39.32
07/14/11 Ship documents to IN Sec. of State via Fed Ex 24.81
07/21/11 Ship documents to IN Sec. of State via Fed Ex again 29.00
07/27/11 Money Order and fee for Consulate in Chicago 106.00
07/27/11 Ship documents to Chicago via Fed Ex 49.82
08/01/11 Money order to Chinese Embassy & Fee (DC) 202.00
08/02/11 Ship documents to Caring Hands (DC) via Fed Ex 62.04
08/03/11 Caring Hands Courier in DC 73.50
08/04/11 Walgreens - photos printed 1.83
08/11/11 CCCWA Fee 1090.00
08/11/11 FTIA Dossier submission fee 2800.00
08/12/11 Office Depot - copy dossier 7.90
08/12/11 Ship dossier to FTIA via Fed Ex 10.24
11/12/11 CCCWA Pre-Approval Fee 80.00
12/19/11 Home Study Addendum fee to FTIA 200.00
12/21/11 USCIS Fee for Supplement 3 360.00
12/22/11 Ship documents to USCIS via Fed Ex 12.94
01/05/12 Ship I-800 to USCIS via Fed Ex 34.51
01/16/12 Visa Fees and Courier Service 350.00
01/17/12 Ship Visa Application via Fed Ex 38.51
01/31/12 FTIA - Final agency fee 1000.00
01/31/12 FTIA - Humanitarian Aid Fee 500.00
01/31/12 Fee for Karis's passport and visa paid to FTIA 436.00
01/31/12 Ship documents to FTIA via UPS 8.85
02/03/12 Immunizations for Todd and Heather 190.00
02/16/12 Immunizations for Todd and Heather 200.00
Total $12,246.63