Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Surprise!

Good news! We have received our I800 approval which gives permission for Mira to become an immediate relative. That approval then goes to another branch of the US government which was also approved. From there we wait to be cabled...which we were on 12/22. That means that our US government emails the ok to the US Embassy in Guangzhou, China. This next process takes about 2 weeks to complete. Then we wait for our TRAVEL APPROVAL!! We are racing the clock to get this before Chinese New Year, which is January 22-29 (I think)...if all goes in our favor we could potentially travel in early February~ wooooohooooooooooo!!!!!!
The awesome thing is there seems to be a nice group of ladies running this same time frame, hoping to meet some of them "for real".
I will be sure to keep you posted!
Wishing you & your family a very Merry Christmas!!!
Love.
Vanessa

Friday, December 9, 2011

I have been blessed....

Where do I begin.....
Several weeks ago I received surprise photos of Mira, this was a miracle in itself because Mira is from a relatively small orphanage that isn't doing many adoptions right now. While the photos were a HUGE blessing, they were just shots she was in, some profile, some she was in the background etc.
Last week I decided to order an orphanage call from Ladybugs n Love. With this call you can ask 10 questions and hope for a photo or two! It takes 7-10 days to get a response.
So, each and every morning since the first thing I would do when I'd wake up is run to my computer to see if there was a "surprise" for me! So...... yesterday morning I woke upto my ipad chiming that I had mail...I checked my regular email, nothing. For whatever reason i decided to check my "adoption email" which is a yahoo account. LOW AND BEHOLD there were 18 (yes 18) photos of my precious girl...AHHHHHHHHHH~!!!!! But let me explain, these were NOT from Ladybugs n Love, they were froma family who had the awesome opportunity to meet Mira FACE TO FACE!!!!!!! This is not uncommon in the adoption world but it is uncommon at this orphanage. The last several visitors have been denied access to the inside of the orphanage and have not met the kids. I cannot post all the details but just trust me when I say that God had his hand in this one! The greatest thing is they have video too but I will have to wait patiently until they arrive home to send to me in the mail as it is quite large! To say the least i was on cloud nine!!!! We spent much of the morning ohh-ing & ahh-ing over the pics! I told Greg this was the best gift EVER! Little did I know the day wasn't over yet! In the afternoon came that awesome update that I requested~~wooohoo!
it had each question answered including one special request....I. GOT. VIDEO. I can watch my girl in action...ooh my...giddy just doesn't describe how I feel. To see my girl walk on those twisted legs is AMAZING, simply AMAZING. But get this....she can RUN!!!!!!!
These are some of the qauestions I had answered:
3. What is her favorite toy?

Doll. She likes to wrap a doll with a towel and hold it in her arms. She will put a doll in her bed and sleep with her.


4. When she is sad, how do you comfort her?

Talk with her gently or take her outside and play.


5. Is she potty trained?

Yes. She goes potty herself.


6. Is it possible to get a short video of her walking to prepare myself to receive her?

Yes. Please see attachment


7. How long/ tall is she including the twisting in her legs?

Height: 86cm (33 1/2inches); Weight: 13kg(28 lbs); Foot: 13.5cm(5.5 inches~sz 8)

She has gained 4 pounds since her last update, but boy is she tiny! I'm thinking size 3T clothes!!! Enough of my blabbing, sit back and watch her move!!!

But one last thing before I go. I spent the day wondering how I deserved such a special surprise yesterday...but really I shouldn't be surprised. We are all loved so very much by our Heavenly Father, this was just a small token to show He is with me on this journey. One that often feels lonely....



video

Friday, December 2, 2011

So Excited!!!

Couple of things to update...
We received our Fedex package from CHI on Wed at approx 11am with our very "official" looking certificate inside along with another stack of paperwork to filled out ASAP! So by 1pm I was on my way to the shipping station to send overnight 2 envelopes. It has never felt so good to spend $73 (yes $730 on postage! one went to the USCIS lockbox in Texas and the other went to CHI in Wa state. SO now we wait again...this time not so long though...we should hear about our next step by Christmas hopefully!
In the meantime, I have ordered an orphanage call through www.LadybugsnLove.com to attempt to get an update on Mira's stats~ ht, wt, shoe size etc. but I also was given the opportunity to ask 10 questions that will be answered~ hopefully. One of which I asked for a short video of Mira walking... so I can prepare for travel with her. I hope they will find it in their hearts and busy schedule to do this for us.Of course as soon as I get a response I will post it here!!! Hoping with some new pics as well!
We have been actively preparing her room and washing some of her new clothes to prepare for travel & her arrival. Thanks so much to all who have been praying along this journey, please keep them coming!!!!

Monday, November 28, 2011

LOA!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Woohooo!
Yes! I just received a call from Heidi @ 8:50pm stating they have our LOA.....
The kids yelled it's Children's House on the phone! I just shook with excitement.
What does this mean??? Well, it means China has officially approved us to be specifically Mira's parents. There are a few more steps to go but we are almost there! We are expecting travel in February, pretty certainly. This also means I can request some updated info on Mira, hopefully including a video of her walking as well as clothing sizes, weight and shoe size.
Of course I will post when I know more.
Thank you God for blessing us with this awesome news...TODAY!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

LID~yipppeee!

Our dossier (big stack of very important papers) is officially logged in. We have a log in date (LID) of Oct 9, 2011. This very exciting news! We are already 24 days into our wait for the next step LOA. It takes anywhere from 40-100+ days to get the Letter Seeking Confirmation which is known as LOA or Letter of Acceptance. So... now we wait....
Praying for a quick turn around....
Sweet Mira, we were blessed to receive some surprise photos of you... they are what we call bitter sweet. So blessed to see you are ok...but my poor princess you look like a prince....shaved head, navy blue & white striped polo (with the collar up~lol!) Momma will bring you lots of dresses, pink & purple girlie dresses!
Until I know more....
((hugs))
Vanessa

Saturday, October 8, 2011

GOD IS GOOD~~ALL THE TIME!!!!!


I have a VERY exciting update.....




We are DTC as of September 29th (woohooo!)

This has been an amazing weekend, and I have to give God all the glory. We had a complete the puzzle event at Christina's Desserts and Coffee in Hanover, Pa http://www.christinasdesserts.com/ It was great, while we did not complete the puzzle, we had an opportunity to share our story & testimony to God's faithfulness during this process. Additionally we raised $3,000!!!! That's right~ we are almost completely funded! We still have several puzzle pieces remaining, but trust that it will be completed. It was so touching to see the number of people who were truly moved by Mira's story.












We are so blessed to have been chosen to be Mira's family and we can't wait

to have her in our arms! We're coming baby girl!


In awe of His faithfulness~

Vanessa



































Friday, September 23, 2011

DT-WA

What?!?!? You say?
In Chinese adoption when you get all docs sent to China, you become what they call "DTC" well, we are not quite DTC (dossier to China). We have sent our docs to Washington state where our adoption agency is located. They are in the process reviewing all docs, they will then go to translation (takes a few days) then, they will be sent to China...at that time we will officially be DTC!!!! We are sooo thrilled!

As you may know from previous posts, our fundraising efforts have not gone the way we planned. So a couple months ago we decided to "be still" and look for direction from God. Then a several weeks ago we were approved for a seedling grant from Brittany's Hope, if we raise $2,0000 they will match it. So we decided to contact Applebee's and have a Pancake breakfast. To make a long story short I invited everyone I knew, sent emails asking friends to invite friends. When about a week before I realized I was going to have much of a turnout I began to think...ok I guess I wasn't still long enough...I decided to pray to God that I was through with trying to do this, I told Him that He can do great things and I laid this down to Him. WELL.....I've come to realize that God is quite the showoff!!! Sunday morning came, 30 people (including kids) came for pancakes...with those figures we should have raised $135. The generosity that we were shown was AMAZING!!! At the end of 2 hrs we raised a grand total of $1,000 exactly!!! How cool is that????
I am in awe of God's presence in this adoption, we know that He wants us to be Mira's family!
So, the moral of the story is this, YOU can't but HE can!
Our family has been so emotional over Mira this past week, I think in part because we know that every dollar we raise is taking us closer to bringing her home. But I also think because there is so much mystery here. We have never been down this path before and we are imagining so many things!
As you can see we have a new chip-in, we have approximately$4,000 to raise for our travel expenses. Included in these expenses is my roundtrip airfare, Mira's one way ticket home, approx 12 nights lodging & in country travel by train, bus & taxi.
We have an amazing opportunity coming up on Oct 7th & 8th to hold a "Finish the Puzzle" event at a friends coffee house, see the EVENTS page for details. We are so excited to have this opportunity to spread adoption awareness & to the tell our story of how God brought Mira to our family.
If you feel led, please continue to spread our story and share our link to this blog.
Thanks!!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Baby Steps...atleast they are Forward!!!

So this has been an exciting week!!!
Tuesday I was greeted with a GREAT surprise when I opened the mailbox!!!
I-800 marked APPROVED~woohooo!
This was the official document from the US government stating we were approved to adopt Mira! This was a huge mile stone for us.
Next we had to get our entire dossier (huge stack of papers worth millions of dollars in time!) "certified on the county level" this was the easiest thing I have ever done! Literally walk into the Clerk of the Courts office pay $1 (yes JUST$1) per page, they printed off some slip of paper and said "Have a nice day!"
What's left??? Well, I need to do the same thing in Annapolis (hopefully on Mon) then I need to take the dreaded trip to Washington DC. When all of that's done I hope to have my docs off to be translated by 9/16...then, let the waiting begin!!!!! Waiting to get the Ok to go get our sweet girl!
Hold on, we're coming....I promise!
This week, as I was stalking blogs of other adoptive families, a lady said something that hit home for me....
When the paperchase is in your hands, every day you don't do something is one more day your child is in the orphanage.

God, I know this is in your perfect time but that doesn't make waiting any easier!!!
~Vanessa

August 16th Update

We are coming down the home stretch as far as our obligations go, however this seems to be the hardest part~ being at the mercy of others (especially the government) is TOUGH!!!
Last Monday August 8th Greg and I went to Baltimore to get our final set of fingerprints done, we are now waiting to get a letter from the US government that says Mira can be a citizen of the US. After a few more "hoops" we will be sending our dossier to China. At that point, we will just be in the waiting game. The most popular question right now is: When??? My answer has to be: On God's time! This adoption has been entirely on God's time~ from thought to currently and I'm sure completion will be the same!
As for Mira, here's what we know:
A very close friend has a very reliable contact in China, she has connections to the orphanages. She contacted Mira's orphanage and they simply said they will not give an update until we have our travel approval :(
I have been in contact with another lady who recently went to Mira's orphanage, I was in great hopes that she would get to meet Mira but she did not.They were only permitted to meet the children that weren't considered adoptable. However, we did get to see photos of the orphanage & photos of the director. I have to say it is a brand new VERY beautiful building that she lives in....for now this is enough to comfort my heart!

I know initially when this adoption came about many people (including Greg & I)questioned our ability to pay for this. I want to give you a financial update, some may feel this is personal info but we feel it is important to be upfront with where we are as we need to continue to fundraise. As mentioned before this has ALL been in God's time!
If you look at my blog it only shows that we have raised $1700. I am unable to add in the money that is sent to us by check or cash donations. It has been SIGNIFICANTLY MORE!!!! We have also been blessed by a grant from Brittany's Hope, it is called a Seedling Grant. How this works is that if we raise $2,000 for them to continue what they do, they will inturn GIVE us $4,000. In order to raise this money we are having a pancake breakfast at Applebee's. Attached is a link to the flier, tickets are just $7/pp.
Here are the final figures of what we need to complete this adoption:
Orphanage donation: $5,000
Roundtrip Airfare: $2,000
One Way Airfare for Mira: $1,000
In Country expenses: $4,000 (hotel for 11nights, meals, trains, cabs etc.)
If you recall, the original estimate for costs was about $23,000. All other fees have been paid & we have a small nest egg in savings (thanks to MANY generous donations).
PLEASE note: THIS POST IS NOT TO ASK YOU FOR MORE $$$ I know many of you have already donated & for this we are grateful, it is merely to give an update. But also, there are a few ways you can help:

#1~ Please pray.... specifically that the next few months will go smoothly until we can travel to get Mira, that God will prepare her heart to accept us as her family, pray that her health is stable & remains that way to travel. Pray that my family will be healthy while I am gone & pray that the funds will come in to complete this adoption. Also, please pray for the caregivers at the orphange and for those children that are not adoptable.

#2~ Be A Piece of Mira's Future.... I know many of you have bought puzzles pieces and we want to thank you!!! I have even had some buy them to put "In Memory Of" & some with scripture references. Just to refresh your memory, by paying $10 for 1 puzzle piece you can have your name or family name put on the back of a puzzle that will be framed in a double sided frame & hung in Mira's room. That way we can show her just how many people it took to bring her home! If you wish to buy puzzle pieces you can do so by visiting my blog & using the chip-in on the right hand side.
~So far we have sold: 149 pieces....only 351 to go!!!!!

#3~ Flap Jacks For A Cause.... follow the link below to access a flier that you can view, print, email etc. In brief the details are this: Applebee's in Westminster Sunday September 18th from 8-10am tickets are $7/pp ($5.50/ticket will go to Brittany's Hope to directly benefit Mira) tickets should be purchased in advance by contacting me!

#4~ ADVERTISE.... believe me, I know in these economic times it is tough to find a few extra dollars BUT we can all help by spreading the word. With email, facebook & even old fashioned face to face conversations we can help! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD!!!!!

Blessings~
Vanessa

Monday, August 1, 2011

Puzzle & adoption update

Hard to believe it has been almost a month since I last posted! I am happy to report we have had a few VERY generous donations sent our way recently. The official count on the puzzle pieces is 74 pcs. We aren't giving up hope yet! All things come in God's perfect time!
I would like to offcially announce the approval of a seedling grant from an organization called Brittany's Hope. The way this works is they approve a grant amount and we are required to raise 1/2 of the money in return for others to use. So if they grant us $4,000 we are required to raise $2,000. You can look at it as a dollar for dollar grant, they will match every dollar we raise upto $2,000. This is an AWESOME opportunity for us to keep reaching towards our goal!!
As a way to kick this event off we are holding a "Flapjack's for a Cause" pancake breakfast at our local Applebee's. The event will be held on Sunday September 18th from 8-10am. The greatest part is we able to hold a silent auction or raffles as well. Please contact me if you are interested in purchasing tickets~ they are just $7/pp
If you would like to make a tax deductible donation please send checks payable to: Brittany's Hope
But please mail to my address:
Vanessa Newman
2169 Woodview Road
Finksburg, Md 21048

Our family is longing for the day we can meet Mira and welcome her to her Forever Family! It seems so far off, but I know with God's perfect timing and His plan all will come together.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

It has been a while since I have posted, for many reasons. Things are progressing quite well, we received notice that our homestudy has been approved by everyone. We are actually waiting for it to come in the mail anyday now! The next step is to mail off the I800A, this is requesting permission from the US government to allow Mira to become a citizen of the US. This process usually takes about 60 days. At that time we will be able to send our dossier to China.

I mentioned before that I had a few fundraisers in the works and I wanted to post an update on them. The vendor open house that I had back in early June was not as successful for all as I had hoped but I did manage to raise about $300 through the generosity of the women who came. This was a difficult time of year and perhaps closer to a holiday maybe a better time! I do want to thank each of the ladies for their time.
Thanks~ Diane, Nikki, Peggy, Pam, Jenna, Amanda & Krista!!!!

Also, I had mentioned that I was working on a Family Fun Night that was due to be held on June 24th. Due to a number of circumstances this event had to be cancelled.

At this point we are at a standstill for fundraisers. We are waiting to see where God leads us. We know He is faithful in providing, especially for things in His will. The "control" in me doesn't want to wait, but I know I must be still. Besides, how can I give God the Glory if I do it all???

We are continuing to ask people to keep us in prayer (especially Mira). We pray that the next few steps come together quickly, with no speed bumps! Our family has grown to LOVE this sweet child and we want nothing more than to bring her home~ SOON!!

One final thing~~our PUZZLE UPDATE!
We are pleased to announce we have sold a total of 70 pcs!!! (only 430 to go~hehe!) Many thanks to ALL who've bought pieces!!
Please share our story with those you know, it will only be by word of mouth that this puzzle can be completed!!

Love n Prayers~
Vanessa

Thursday, June 9, 2011

puzzle, vendor show & homestudy...





There's alot to update....












WOW!!! SO far we have sold 54 pcs~woohoo!






Many thanks to all who contributed! Especially a few young kids who donated their OWN money. Thanks to Debbie, Sally & Michael Barth and Shane & Dylan Ryder...you guys are AWESOME!!!!! Please keep telling your family & friends about the puzzle!


Click on the pic to see it bigger & Look for your name!

Your name isn't there?? Use the chip-in to buy a piece!




Last Friday I opened my home to 7 different vendors, Tastefully Simple, Cookie Lee, Scentsy, Pampered Chef, Willow House, Tupperware & Thirty one these ladies sold quite a bit of stuff! Each of them will donate a portion of sales to help bring Mira home. What a FUN way to raise $$...lots of good food, shopping & friends. I will have exact figures for you soon! (But I think it was worth it!!)



We are waiting for the rough draft of our homestudy, should be early this week! Yippee. Greg and I have completed 1/2 of our required education classes, we should be complete by the end of the weekend! There's a few misc papers to turn in and then we are complete! I am still learning the details of what comes next... it is my understanding that we have a series of notarizations, certifications & authentications to do. Praying for a smooth process to get our little girl home soon!!! I'll keep you posted!


Leapin & Prayin~Vanessa



Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Update...

Double update...
Only 2 pieces this week.....ugggh! It's just $10, spread the word!!! It would be sad to only have 26 names on the puzzle!!!!
I know many are wondering how things are progressing~ other than financially!! Well...Greg and I had fingerprints done on Tuesday last week... e had a water test completed on Thursday & we had a MAJOR home inspection on Friday! For those who aren't familiar, during your adoption process you are required to have a "favorable homestudy" completed. This includes a number of things but during this phase you have a walk thru of your home... yes your ENTIRE home. They open EVERY closet, closed door etc. On this visit they also interview indepth each member of the house....yep kids too! One never knows what the kids might say! Well, I am happy to say all is well so far. As a matter of fact the only thing they are waiting for at this point is the final phase of the homestudy which is the couples interview...a 3 hour couples interview... Greg and I have been together 21 years and I am certain we don't have 3 hours worth of conversation!!! The funny part will be if he stays awake for 3 hours of talking!!! This appointment is on Tuesday May 31st. After that appointment the homestudy people will take about 2 weeks to write a favorable homestudy. Oh, I almost forgot...Greg & I have to do 12 hours of parenting courses online. Once the homestudy is received we will eligible for grants to assist with the upcoming fees. At this point I am not certain of the timeline to Mira but I am predicting it will be November. But we know God is in control, so it will be on His time!
We have a few other fundraisers coming up.. A list will be posted soon! I will update with success stories after each one!

Friday, May 13, 2011

1st puzzle update





I am happy to announce the puzzle fundraiser is underway. Many thanks to everyone that contributed and also to those who spread the word! Keep it spreading PLEASE!!!! We have sold 24 pieces...476 to go~lol! We continue to know that God is in control and He will provide. Everyday is one step closer to bringing our sweet Mira home and getting her the medical care she needs in addition to the love of her forever family!




Below you will see the section of puzzle we have completed and you will also see a photo of the back with the names of those who have contributed!




thanks again!!!















Love n prayers,




The Newman's

Monday, May 2, 2011

Be A "PIECE" of Mira's Future

I have to say I cannot take credit for this idea, however I FEEL CERTAIN no one will care since it is for a good cause! Greg and I have spent hours, literally hours trying to find the "perfect" way to raise money for Mira. Well, hear it goes...



We feel it is important to be able to share with Mira how many people were involved with bringing her home. We know there are many people following us, praying for us and listening to our story. What a great way for her to SEE just how many!! We bought this beautiful 500 pc. puzzle,

we want to "sell" each piece for $10. For a $10 donation we will write your name or your family name on the BACK of the piece. Once the puzzle is completed it will be framed in a custom made double sided frame and hung in her room so that when Mira comes home she will be able to SEE how many people it took to be a "PIECE of her future." We will update often with photos... remember ALL pieces must be sold!! So we ask that you share this anyway you can.. email lists, facebook~ whatever!! Many people have questioned using the chip-in on the side of this site, it takes you directly to PAYPAL if you use this method please write the name you want on the back of the piece in the sellers notes section. If you are uncomfortable with that but want to donate, feel free to mail a check made payable to :

Vanessa Newman

2169 Woodview Road

Finksburg, Md 21048


Please include the name you wish to have on it.
Many thanks to all who are praying for this journey! We are just following the Lord's direction in this whole process!

Love 'n Prayers,

The Newman's

Friday, April 22, 2011

Take a look!!

We're the feeling the crunch~ the funding crunch that is!!!
Take a look at our new fundraising page!
100% of the profit goes directly to bring Mira home!!!!
WOOOHOO!!
All items custom made!
Please feel free to spread the word to all your friends!!!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MIRA!!!!

As I sit here, it is 8:54pm on Tuesday evening...
Right now it is Wednesday am in China. It is Mira's 5th birthday. Well, not her actual birthday but her "given" birthday. Do they recognize birthdays at the orphanage?? I wish we could call her to sing "HAPPY BIRTHDAY".

I feel at such a loss with what I am supposed to do...we really need to begin fundraising but I am so unsure of where to start. I have a zillion ideas but don't know where to begin. Viral dollar pledge? Puzzle fundraiser? Coffee? Quarter Auction?? Bingo?? Family Fun Fair?? AGGGHHH!!!! At this point, I will just pray...God has his hand in this, he will not leave us to deal with this alone....He always provides.

HAPPY 5th BIRTHDAY TO MY SWEET MIRA~
WE'RE ONE DAY CLOSER TO YOU!!!!




Friday, April 8, 2011

CHINA said YESSS!!!

I am soooo excited, it is now official. China sent their PA (pre-approval) last night! We are Mira's parents! The paperwork chase has begun & we are praying for a smooth process! I ask that anyone who has facebook, please post the link to this blog. www.leapingformira.blogspot.com As stated earlier this is a leap of faith!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Our Daughter

IMAGINE.....


Being born with eyes like these....



Being born with legs like these....







Then, being abandoned at the gate of a hospital with no name or date of birth.

This was the life of our daughter, Mira. Fortunately this was just the beginning of her life. God had a different plan for the rest of her life!

Currently, Mira lives in an orphanage in China, she is almost 5 years old. She was introduced to our family by coincidence and we have fallen in love with her. This comes in part because she possibly has mitochondrial disease, which is interesting enough in itself! Mitochondrial disease is a rare metabolic disorder that is not familiar to most people, we have 3 biological daughters with this disease. Mitochondrial disease can be scary if you aren't familiar with it and don't have resources for care. We feel God has prepared us well to make her part of our family!

International adoption is rather expensive due to the inspections you require and the lengthy travel. As many can relate, the economy has made it difficult to have that amount of money just laying around. We have spent a great deal of time in prayer and realized money shouldn't keep this little girl from having a chance at life. So, we made a family decision to take a Leap of Faith. Our hope is that each person who sees her pictures and reads her story will be touched as we were.

We ask that each person who receives this to pray for us during this journey. We also ask that if you feel led to do so, make a donation to help...

Bring Mira Home !!











Blessed,

The Newman's

Greg, Vanessa, Emily, Kayla & Sami