Monday, October 16, 2006

We got a surprise today - updated photos of Sam!! He is so precious! He appears to have a cold, and he needs his mommy! But as our amazing travel guide, Zhou, always says, "Be a little bit patient - he will come to you soon!" So we are loving the photos and trying to be patient for about 6 MORE MONTHS until we can bring him home. Please pray that God will give us His patience and His peace that passes all understanding while we wait and that God would hold and comfort Sam while he waits for us as well.

Friday, October 13, 2006

I can't believe it, but in 2 days I have caught up on 2 months worth of posts!!

Granted, they were brief and skipped around a little, but the task is complete, and I feel that I can move forward with a clean slate. There is one bit of news that I left out because I wanted it to be the first thing I post as I move forward after having caught up.........

I am going to need to change the name of this "blog" to: Mom2Five

Yes, you read that correctly. On September 14th, our adoption agency called and asked us to consider a waiting child - a Special Needs boy with a cleft lip and palate. Our first response was that we were happy and content and were moving foward with our life with 4 children........God had other plans for us, and we are so thankful He was patient and persistent. The easiest way to share our story is for me to copy the post we sent to our faithful friends - the February Lovebugs, who were with us every step of the way as we adopted Emma:

We have accepted a referral for a little boy in China on our agency's Waiting Child List! We are over the moon with excitement! This is a surprise blessing for us. Our agency called to ask us to consider this little boy, Dang Fuchen. When they called, it was weird, but I had this feeling there was a little boy in China waiting for us. I can't explain it, but I just knew. I had no idea that they were going to call, but when they did, I was like - okay, now I understand why I have been feeling this way. For Russ, it was like a hit to the head from out of nowhere. We took the weekend to think about it and Russ called our agency and said that we would NOT take the referral. We then had a heavy heart and felt like we had only answered based on our initial response to the thought of 5 kids. We decided that we owed it to Emma, her culture and Fuchen's parents to really give it some more thought. So Wednesday Russ called back and asked if they still had his file and could we have a few more days to talk about it. They said yes but they needed to know by the beginning of the week. We knew that in order to do this we would have to agree. Russ called the agency and said that we would (again) NOT take the referral. I kept praying that God would not let us miss this blessing if it was meant to be ours and if Fuchen belonged to another family, that I would be at peace with that. I really was in turmoil and spent the better part of the week in tears - sobs more like it. I couldn't explain it but I knew he was my son. I promised myself that I would always pray for him and hoped that he would find a family. Two nights later Russ came up from the basement with an "It's A Boy" button pinned to his shirt and said let's go to China and get our son. I was speechless and I kept saying " I don't understand.. .." He said that he just got off the phone with our agency and that Fuchen was ours - all of the angst and turmoil had left his eyes and the sparkle was back. He said that he had been fighting against what he knew was right and had been thinking selfishly and God just pierced his heart and all of a sudden he knew. This unfamiliar picture of a boy in China had become a familiar photo of his son. It was an amazing moment. Russ and I may disagree on the little details at times, but generally we agree on the big stuff and so it was very odd that we had different opinions on something so huge. Oh, and Fuchen (Sam) is only 4 months younger than Emma so it will be like having twins. Emma is so motherly that she will love having a brother to look after. So here we are, racing to be DTC by December and trying to catch up with the other families in our group that did not take so long to make their decision! We know that we are on the right path and are planning to go to China in March or April. Now I am left wondering how can I get another carseat in my Suburban so that the rest of my children don't have to do an acrobatic act to get out of the car each morning at carpool? How will I get the "twins" down for a nap at the same time so that we can get back to school for carpool? The big stuff (money, college, braces,..... ), I really don't worry about - it will take care of itself (when God calls you, He also equips you) - it is my little routine I am concerned about! My day works like a well-oiled machine and I have worked hard to get it that way..... But, in all seriousness, I know that this will also take care of itself. We will find a new normal and be happy as can be while we do!!

So, I guess you can now understand why I haven't been posting - there really has been a lot going on around here. Please keep us in your prayers as we take this journey. We have heard that Sam's orphanage does not have heat so we are so sad to be without him this winter. Thankfully this will be his last winter without heat (or his family). His orphanage is part of an American program called Half the Sky which trains the nannies to stimulate and better care for the children and is also sponsored by Love Without Boundaries which has provided many of the cleft surgeries there. We are so thankful! Sam's orphanage is the Luoyang CWI in the Henan province.

We will be traveling back to China with our dear friends the Duryeas who were part of the Wuhan Super Group, our travel group when we adopted Emma. It is so amazing to see God in the details - it is no coincidence that He reunited us with this precious family. Thank you for sharing in our pure joy!!

Samuel Ray FuChen Hedden

Mid Autumn Moon Festival

We were fortunate enough to celebrate the Chinese Moon Festival with the Yuens (Sonya's Family). We started out the evening with authenic Chinese cuisine that Josh and Carrie prepared themselves. We all grabbed our lanterns and headed outside as the full moon arose in the sky. It was breathtaking and provided so much light that it was as if the floodlights were on outside the house. The kids had a great time, and we topped off the evening with mooncakes! We are so excited to have been part of their celebration and feel we have one more piece to the puzzle as we try and help Emma learn more about her Chinese culture and traditions.

Sonya and Robbie
All The Love!
Robbie thinks his ice cream is A-OK!
Emma obviously bossing someone around (imagine that....)

Robbie's Preschool has an ice cream social every year for the PreK and Kindergarten classes. Russ, Coleman and Jack all went to Cub Scout Day at the Braves Game and I took Robbie and Emma to the Social. Robbie was very apprehensive until he saw that his "girlfriend" Sonya was there. Sonya's dad is from Guangzhou, China and her mom is American. They are a wonderful family and have been a wealth of information on China, it's language, heritage and customs. We feel so blessed to have them in our lives.

American Idol Concert September 12, 2006Posted by Picasa

Coleman and Jack after the concert with their guitar picks!

September also brought a lot of concert opportunities for our family. Chris Isaak is my all time favorite, and he came in concert to Chastain Amphitheater which is an amazing outdoor venue where you can bring a picnic dinner and eat and enjoy the concert under the stars. My dear friend Leigh and I had an 8th row table, and we had an amazing Girls Night Out! I actually got to meet Chris - he shook my hand and signed my Chris Isaak Tshirt! I was in heaven for several days!

The next week we took Coleman and Jack to the American Idol Concert. 2nd Row Baby!!! The people in the first row in front of us fell in love with Coleman and Jack and let them stand in front of them. They got to high five all of the stars and we got the signed guitar picks for Bucky Covington and Chris Daughtry!! What a great memory to have! All of the stars made eye contact and waved at the boys, but Bucky really had a rapport going with them and actually threw his guitar pick right to them. It was just AWESOME!! I think Russ and I had as much fun as they did, and all of the people around us were so wonderful - we swapped email addressed with most of them. The nicest man actually found the Chris Daughtry guitar pick that had been thrown in the dark and no one had caught and gave it to the boys. It was so sweet! It is up there with one of our all time favorite things we have ever done!!

Robbie got a HOLE IN ONE!!!!!!!!!!
Mommy joining in on the fun!

Good Shot Emma!!

Popaw teaching Emma the fine art of putt putt

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Mamna and Popaw with the Boys
Swinging on the Porch at Tallulah Gorge
Emma's First Waterfall (with her daddy!)

We went to Cashiers, North Carolina with my parents in September and had a wonderful time. We went to several different waterfalls and just enjoyed spending time as a family. Emma learned how to putt putt on our last day there. She really did well - especially compared to Robbie at this age!! When Robbie was this age, we went mini golfing at Disney and he was such a menace that we all vowed never to play putt putt with him again!! Poor thing, his reputation has preceded him, but we gave him a shot at it this time and we were all pleasantly surprised. He is really growing up!

Emma Now
Emma's Referral Picture
September 1st, 2006
The one year anniversary of our referral for Chong SiYue from Chongyang, Hubei, China. We are so thankful to God for bringing Emma Grace SiYue into our lives on that day. She is a blessing and a dream come true. We reflect on all of the feelings that overwhelmed us on that day and how we have been forever changed! We love you baby girl!!

Kaitlyn, Sophia and Emma tired after a day at the Fair!

The LoveBug Gang at the Kentucky State Fair

The Guffeys, Our Family, and The Proctors

All Dressed Up For The Horse Show

It has been a really long time since I have posted!! The school year and several vacations and many other activities have kept us too busy and I have not made this a priority. Things are slowing down now though and I am ready to get back to posting more often. So much has happened since I was last here and I have no idea where to even start!

In August, we went on the annual family pilgrimage to Kentucky to see the Horse Show and spend time at the Kentucky State Fair. Russ' family has been going every year since the 70s! We look forward to it - it is one of our favorite family traditions. While we were there we met up with The Guffeys and The Proctors from our February LoveBugs adoption group. We met online and all got our referrals for our daughters together. We traveled last fall to China at separate times and with different agencies, but Jodi Guffey and I still managed to run into each other in Guangzhou at a corner grocery store. We had been secret pals through our LoveBugs group and have maintained a great friendship. Becky Proctor is the moderator of the LoveBugs and her family is a hoot! We met up to go to the Fair and have lunch. We had a wonderful time.