Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Love those "nudges" from God

I love "nudges" from God, and I love to see Him working in the lives of those around us. 

Just recently a dear lady, a complete stranger to us, acted on the nudges she had been receiving.  You see, awhile back I decided to see if anyone else who was adopting would be interested in fund-raising with me and my family.  It's a long story, but now there are three of us (with our families) who are working together to help offset the cost of some of the adoption expenses.  When one of us has completed our adoption, we have another family who is ready to step in to fund-raise for their adoption as well.  Our plan is to continually help one another with adoption fund-raising efforts, even after our adoptions are final.

Awhile back we were interviewed by a reporter from our local paper about how we had all met, why we were adopting and working together, as well as about our upcoming yard sale.  This dear lady saw the article in the paper, cut it out and saved it.  She kept feeling like she was supposed to get into contact with us and, thankfully, she listed to those nudges by the Holy Spirit and finally did! 

Our first introduction to one another, other than by email, came when she invited us to her house.  She served us a lovely Victorian tea luncheon while we discussed fund-raising ideas and got to know one another.

One of the ideas that God had placed on her heart was to have a tea luncheon where grandmothers could bring their granddaughters or mothers could bring their daughters and so on.  I thought it was a wonderful, fun idea that could not only serve to bless our efforts but that could also make some wonderful memories for those who come to the tea luncheon as well.  

We are now in the process of finding a good place (or places!) to hold the luncheon and after that we will work out the finer details.  We have thought about including a speaker and/or live music, door prizes, pictures and so on.

It is wonderful to have others to fund-raise with, and I thank God for those that I am working with now and that He put them into my life.


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

"Lyric Xinyu Burgess"!

I just want to snatch her right up!

So happy!
If you look closely, you can see her mismatched socks - she will fit right in here!

"Xinyu"  is her first name in China and will be her middle name here.  It means "fresh rain" or "new rain".  

"Lyric" is a name that is growing in popularity.  It basically means "words set to music".  It was originally Greek, meaning "sung with a lyre" and doesn't seem to have a traditional name meaning like "Karen" is said to mean "purity".  When I think of the name "Lyric", I think of "song of my heart" so now it officially has a meaning as a name :)  

Paperwork update!  Kevin is just now sending out our I-800.  This is the beginning of the process that allows us to get Lyric into the United States.  When I get a travel time-line figured out I will be sure to post it!

Please pray that we don't run into any issues with the I-800.  Lyric's medical says that she has low hemoglobin and hypoevolutism, but an update from the orphanage said that she was only delayed by about 12 months and that she does not have "disease of short stature".  We are approved to adopt a child that is healthy or with minor correctable medical needs, and we are hoping that she will qualify as such.  If not, we will need to send in our home study update (which we already have done) with about $340 to get her approved for her needs and this will delay our time-line.  So - praying that she gets approved!

In His name,


Friday, August 20, 2010

What a wonderful day for a "wok"!

Opened up my email today to such a wonderful surprise.  About a week or so ago I entered a contest on a blog at http://ontheoldpath.blogspot.com/     (don't forget to head over and check out the blog!) where the writer, Cheryl, was hosting a giveaway for CSN stores.  Turns out - I won a $50.00 gift certificate! 

That $50 is going towards a wok with a steamer attachment.  I have been wanting a wok for a long time, but haven't bought one because it is more of a "want" then a "need", so now I have a good reason to go ahead and treat myself to a new cooking "tool".  Hopefully, I will be spoiling the rest of the family (and friends!) with some good food too!

I haven't tried them yet (looking forward to having them in China!) but I want to see if I can make something called "steamed buns".  They look really, really good!  Here is a link for a  Steamed bun recipe on allrecipies.com.  

Anyone for Chinese?

- Karen

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Imagine my surprise a few days ago when we got a phone call from our agency.  They were calling to tell us that our LOA had arrived!  LOA stands for Letter of Acceptance.  Even though we already told China that we wanted to adopt the little girl we were referred with our Letter of Intent, we still have to check mark a box and sign our names saying that we do, indeed, still want her on the Letter of Acceptance.

The main reason I was so excited to get the LOA is because it came so early - I wasn't even thinking about it yet.  The given time-line is 60 to 90 days, and we received ours in only 25!  What an amazing blessing - we would really like to travel by December!  (Secretly, I am hoping for the end of October).

There is only one other major event that takes place before we can travel to get our daughter and that is when we will receive travel approval or "TA" for short.  After we get this, we can travel in as little as 2 or 3 weeks.

In between the LOA and TA is a bunch of other little milestones and hurdles that we have to meet - and we are already working on our first one.  Because our new daughter was diagnosed with special needs that weren't apart of our original home study, we need to have an addendum added to it.  That addendum won't be done until Monday, and then we have to get it approved by CIS (Citizenship and Immigration Services).  All this will add to the waiting game.  After that, we send away for something called our I-800.  Right now, the paperwork is "all Greek to me".  Once I become fluent in it, I will translate the time-line here so everyone can see how we are progressing.

I'm going to see if I can get our daughter's pictures figured out so I can post them on here.  (I'll post her new name also!)

Until next time,


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Experiencing really early adoption nesting syndrome!

I should really be organizing this next school year for the kiddo's (I have it written down on my calendar that we are starting this coming Monday!)  But, alas, I couldn't ignore the loud calling I kept hearing from the bedroom upstairs where our newest daughter will be sleeping.  Over and over again I heard "Clean me!  De-clutter me!  If you do it now, you will save time later!"  What could I do?  The "calling" kept getting louder and louder, and before I knew it I found myself heading up the stairs and into "the room". 

That was it.  The room had me.  I enlisted Carissa's help (oldest daughter) and we started re-arranging furniture.  Actually, we took the dressers out of the bedroom and put them in the room right next to it.  This other room served us well as a sewing/library/game room.  At one time it was a home office.  Now it gets to be a dressing room/sewing room! 

Earlier in the day, Kevin mentioned that maybe Carissa would like her own room - but I said she really likes sharing a room with her sister, Laurel.  They would miss each other - a lot!  Later on I asked Carissa about it - she wanted to stay where she was.  Oh, how I love that!

Their bedroom will have 3 beds and 3 nightstands.  Each girl also gets their own little nick-knack shelf on the wall next to their bed and we let them put up pictures/posters etc.  It isn't a big room, which is why we had to take out the dressers.  I have thought about getting bunk beds, but the way the room is designed they wouldn't fit very well.  We will have to decide if we want to get a toddler bed or a twin bed.  One with drawers underneath would be nice but I would also like it big enough for me to cuddle with her in it - which is why I am leaning towards a twin even though it would take up a bit more space.  As it is, I already know that I'm going to have to find something to hold Carissa and Laurel down in their own beds while I get cuddle time with their new sister!  Carissa is already planning her strategy on how they can hop/jump from one bed to another and all end up in the same one!

My plan with de-cluttering and re-organizing the bedroom now is so the girls don't have too many adjustments at one time.  A few months ago I had them make drawer-space.  We are trying to ease them into having another sister.  I think it even helps Tyler, their brother, ease into it a bit as well.  He was a bit surprised today to see the bedroom re-arranged.  (Someday soon, I pray, we will have a brother for Tyler and another son for us!)

I will leave you now with another picture of our sweet girl in China.  It is one of my favorites.  When I get the other ones ready I will post those as well.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Introducing our new daughter!

 I couldn't figure out how to upload the pictures of her that we had in her file, so I took a picture of the picture, cropped it, put a frame around it, and uploaded it here - so it may be a bit blurry or out of focus!

Here is what her file has to say:

She was born on July 3 and is now 3 years old.

She does have low hemoglobin, so we will get that checked out when we get her home.

The file also said that she has "hypoevolutism", but with the update we received it showed her thyroid levels all in the normal range, so we do not believe her to have this.

She is about 12 months delayed, both physically and mentally - which they expect with proper nutrition she should catch up just fine!

She is 2 feet 5 inches tall and weighs only 19.81 lbs!  She is tiny!

She likes mimicking and dancing.  What fun!

I'm not sure if I can put her Chinese name on here or not, so I think I will hold off.  I can tell you though, that she was given her name because she brings people much joy and laughter like spring rain.  You can't see her joy as much in the picture above, but you will see it when we post her other pictures.  She is one who really lives up to her name!   I'll get them on here later when I have more time. For now, I have some other not so little ones who are calling for their lunch!

We do have a bit of a disclaimer - although we have pre-approval to adopt her, it isn't official until we get our final travel approval to go get her and we have her in our arms with the paperwork signed in China.  With God's grace though, we will continue to move closer to holding her in our arms and make this child forever ours on paper, for she is already ours in our hearts.

The Burgess Family

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Orphanage Fundraiser coming soon - and we need your help!

We are now looking for donations of gifts to use as "prizes" for the fundraiser!  Do you have something that you would like to donate towards a good cause?  Were you given a Christmas present last year that you simply never ended up using and have found you just don't need?  Are you creative with arts and crafts, sewing or painting? Have connections with an area business that you could approach to ask them to donate - or run your own business? No?  How about a gas card or gift card? 

Our goal is to raise money for the orphanage where our daughter is now living.  The money won't be going to help her directly, but it will help the many children who will be left behind.  By offering the opportunity to win a prize in a drawing we are hoping to encourage many, many people to dig deep into their pockets and donate to a great cause.  Please, don't hesitate to get in contact with me (Karen) at  kevkarb@yahoo.com  and let me know how you would like to help.

We realize there are children all over the world who are in need and that this is one of only many causes you could give towards, but please, open your hearts.  Pray about it.  Give what you can.  If you find yourself in a position where you can't give monetarily or even non-monetarily, then the gift of prayer is something that we surely welcome - and it's free!  Pray that we not only get to that $5,000 mark, but that we go way beyond it!  Pray that this fundraiser is a success, that others may see this blog, follow our journey and have their hearts opened to adoption - as well as to our Savior!

Kevin and I are really excited about this opportunity - please spread the word by sharing our blog with others.  The more who know about it, the more successful we believe it will be!

Thank you!

Karen and Kevin

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Updated paperwork/yard sale

Kevin and I have completed what we needed to for our home study addendum, but as it turns out, some of our paperwork had just expired - by days.  We had to fill out papers for another CPS (Child Protective Services) check as well as another background check in our county.  No big deal on getting it done and everything went smoothly.

I wanted to tell you about the yard sale we just had with two other ladies who are adopting as well.  One family is adopting 3 from Ethiopia and one family is adopting from Congo.  The days of the sale were really, really, hot and humid, and it was a lot of working getting everything done - but again, we were blessed to see God's hand at work.  At one point, because we had so many items left to sell, I made up a sign that said Adoption Fundraiser, went to a very busy street corner and walked back and forth - praying - and hoping nobody would come tell me that I couldn't hold my sign up where I was.

I knew the sign was drawing people in because I got a "thumbs-up" at one point from some ladies driving in a car with big grins on their faces and even had people stop to ask where the sale was.  I did this for about 1 hour and 45 minutes with a break 1/2 way.  I remember praying that someone would come to make a larger donation (I was kind-of thinking in the $1,000's of dollars range but, hey, we would take anything!).

When I got back to the sale a lady came up with her small son.  She asked us some questions and said that he was adopted - the cutie that she was holding.  After more questions, she put her had in the donation jar and said she made a donation and then went on her way.  A few minutes later, Katherine (the one adopting from Ethiopia), reached in the jar and we saw that there was a $20 added to the other $1.00 bills.  I asked her to take out the $20 to see how much was there - the woman, who I believe was used by God, had given us ten $20.00 bills - $200.00!  Can you believe it?  I can.  It wasn't the $1,000's that had crossed my mind earlier, but it was that larger donation that I had prayed for.  God IS Good!

At one point while I was away from the sale holding up my sign I guess some people drove by in their car and threw some money out the window!  I never found out how much it was, but I wish I had been there to see it!  I guess they yelled something like, "Happy getting babies!"  What a hoot!  I want to do that for someone else some day!

Time to clean up around the house a bit and make a grocery list - I'll post more about the orphanage fundraiser that we are going to be starting soon.  I'm really excited about it!  "Thank you gifts" or "Prizes" are involved where those who donate to the orphanage have an opportunity to win something.  One of the "thank you gifts" is a brand new machine sewn quilt from Texas that my mom donated.  It is beautiful - and later on I will post pictures.

'Till next time -

Karen and family