Thursday, November 29, 2007

Here's the plan....

We've been so busy making airline reservations, buying necessities, and tying up loose ends that we've neglected to share our plans. In case you're wondering, the itinerary is as follows:

Wednesday, December 5th - we'll fly out early in the morning....(but we loose about 14 hours this day)
Thursday, December 6th - we'll arrive in Beijing, just in time to go to sleep, though our trip is actually in the neighborhood of 26 hours
Friday and Saturday, December 7th and 8th - we'll tour Beijing, all the while adjusting to the time difference
Sunday, December 9th - we'll fly to Guangzhou to meet our travel group (a bunch of folks who have waited quite a while to be united to their children!)
Monday, December 10th - we'll go to the Civil Affairs office to meet and bring home Emmy Xiang!
Tuesday, December 11th - we'll sign all the official paperwork, and she'll forever become a member of the family!
Wednesday, December 12th - we'll apply for Emmy Xiang's passport
Thursday, December 13th - Emmy Xiang's medical exam
Friday, December 14th - more official papers
Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, December 15th-17th - free time to explore Guangzhou
Tuesday, December 18th - we'll get Emmy Xiang's passport (now, THAT's efficient! In the USA, her sisters' passports took 13 weeks, not just days!)
Wednesday, December 19th - US Consulate appointment (which we don't even attend!)
Thursday, December 20th - off to the US Consulate to take the oath (not sure exactly what we promise here....I'm sure we'll be informed!)
Friday, December 21st - we'll jump on a plane (or two or three or four) and fly home!

WHEW! I'm exhausted already! However, we are so excited to be this close to bringing home our daughter. God's timing is truly perfect.

Please, please, continue to pray that Emmy Xiang's transition would be easy for her. Also, please pray for her foster family. They surely will grieve her absence. Thank God, along with us, for their love and care for our daughter. And lastly, please pray that we would have safe travel to and from China, and that we would glorify God as we seek to serve Him in whatever ways we might in this journey. Pray that HE would receive all the praise, for it is only by His grace that we have this precious gift.

Thank you, friends and family, for your loving support, incessant prayers and your godly encouragement. You are all evidence of God's grace in our lives!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Goin' to China and we're, gonna get Emmy...

We're goin' to China and we're gonna get E-e-emmy....Gee we really love her and we're gonna get E-e-emmy, goin' to China next week!!!!!!

(could you hear me singing? it/sing it again to the tune of Goin' to the Chapel)

It is confirmed! We are leaving on 12/5/07 and Lord willing, we'll be home for Christmas!

Singing praises to God....and frantically trying to make travel arrangements! Please keep us in your prayers!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Travel's here!

We have much for which to be thankful! Indeed, one of those is our long-awaited approval by the Chinese Civil Affairs to travel to China to bring home our daughter! We received the official email today.

We aren't yet sure what day we'll leave and return, but we know we will have our sweet Emmy Xiang before Christmas and we'll be home before the New Year! Isn't God kind?!?!

Rejoice with us and sing praises to our God who truly gives every good and perfect gift!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A Sweet Surprise


Just got back from the XC State Championship and spending a few days with our family in Central Florida....more about that (and pictures!) later. Going through the mail I found the sweetest surprise. Suzanne, the Shantou Foster Care Coordinator, a volunteer with Love Without Boundaries just happens to be one of our sweet Emmy Xiang's foster care sponsors. She responded to our plea for fabric and wishes for Emmy Xiang's quilt, but threw in another treasure.

This is what the letter read that she enclosed in the package:
Dear Tammy,
A few months ago, we asked our China Facilitator to have the Shantou Foster Care children do pictures for their sponsors, so they could be sent back with LWB volunteers.....The enclosed "drawing" was in the package. Since I am the sponsor, and I have seen it, I want you to have it. Look at those sweet little doodles!! Isn't that framable or what! I got permission to send it! How I hope your TA comes soon, you can go soon, and that her adjustment will be as smooth as possible.

Suzanne also mentioned that there are still 6 foster children in Shantou (Guangdong) in need of sponsorship. Please consider visiting the LWB site to learn more about being a blessing to a child like Emmy Xiang, waiting for a forever family.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Running like crazy....

If you're wondering why the posts have been slim of late, just read on! We've been in the fast lane lately with cross country, soccer (the Elf made the varsity team and is knee deep in fun!), school and adoption trip preparations.....among other things!

On the cross country front....

Ladybug and the Elf ran in the county meet. The Elf had a bad day, but Ladybug did well! She had a personal best running time of 22:06 or 07 or 08 or something like that...whatever it was, it was fast! Then, the next weekend, Ladybug ran at the District meet and placed 13th...woo hoo! Our team progressed on to the next level: regionals. We traveled to Tallahassee to watch the team place 5th in the region, thus winning them a spot in the state tournament! It was quite the bonus to be able to see the Elf play soccer that night in Tallahassee...and stay with Mammy and Pop. How kind of God to place our weekend right in the lap of family!

Once again, this weekend we Dade City and the Cross Country state tournament. This time, we get to stay with BeBe and Poppy, who live just down the way a bit. Isn't it nice that BOTH sets of grandparents get to cheer on Ladybug in her final races?!?

Enjoy a few slide shows, lovingly put together by the Elf....and cheer on our girls!

County Meet

District Meet

Regional Meet

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Last Call (for real) for Quilt Squares!!!

Ok, now that we have gotten our LOA we must, I repeat, must get the quilt finished. We really want all of our good friends to be a part of this way of welcoming Emmy Xiang and are simply not willing that any of said friends not be represented. Right now we are focusing on getting the quilt itself done, so if you need more time to work on the wish, that is fine. But we need fabric.

Thanks so much for wanting to speak into Emmy Xiang's life in this way. We are so excited that she will soon be here with us. We will post some pictures of the quilt as we go!


Thursday, November 1, 2007

Happy Birthday to me...

Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday, we got our LOA.......Happy Birthday to me!

Yesterday was my birthday, so I'm convinced that God wanted to bless me particularly today!

So that LOA part of the song...that's not how it ask, what does that mean? It means that tomorrow our friendly overnight mail person will be delivering a parcel, which will consist of a letter for us to sign. This letter will state that we really, really do want to adopt Emmy Xiang. So we'll scribble our names and pop it back in the overnight mail to be delivered to our agency. They will forward it on to China. Once the LOA makes it to the CCAA in China (as God allows, I might add) we can expect to receive Travel Approval (the coveted "TA") in 2 to 3 weeks. Travel Approval would be something to be thankful for, wouldn't it?

And THAT means that we could be in China mid December! It will be a merry Christmas indeed for the Brown family if we receive that precious present of our daughter (and sister) Emmy Xiang. Praise be to God for His wonderful gifts....He is so kind to us.

We pray that God will be glorified in our lives as we represent as we wait, and in China. Please continue to pray for Emmy Xiang, her foster family and for us, always thanking God for His wisdom and His timing, and for His goodness to us!