Wednesday, November 21, 2007

For those of you visiting from Canada or across the pond, I know you won't be celebrating with us, but even so, I'm sure you have much to be thankful for in your own lives...I know I do!!
As I look back on the last year in the Swindler household, I am blown away by the changes, but there is no question of the blessings God has given to our family. We have a new member of our family this year...that is where our focus is. We have two beautiful daughters and for that we are most grateful to our Heavenly Father for entrusting them to us!
Thank you for stopping by to check in on our family. We appreciate all the kind words and comments.
Have a very very happy Thanksgiving!!!!
In HIS Mighty Grip

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Many hats of Aly...

My oh my...the girl does love her hats!! We found these in some of Mom's stuff and were selling them at the yard sale. Aly was in heaven and had to give us a different expression with each new hat. (Makes for better pictures that way!!! )

A visit to the hairdresser...

I was going to post this video after the BIG YARD SALE, but i forgot about it. I love catching them like this!!! I LOVE Lili's honesty about the whole thing!!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

That is just how she thinks...

I was standing in the kitchen this morning fixing breakfast for the girls. Aly wandered in and said, "Mom...what is the last number?"

I said, "The last number of what?"

she said, "The last number of all of them."

after I regained my balance I said, "Well, there is no last number...they just keep going."

"Forever?" she said.

"Yep...forever." I said.

My raven haired, almond eyes lotus blossom stared at me for a moment and then said,
"Oh...okay...I just wondered."

Then she was gone. That's just how she thinks...
(Aly...a few months after we came home with her)

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Three years ago today...

(this post is two days early...I meant to save it as a draft after getting it ready, but hit "publish" instead. I have NO idea how to remove the post without deleting it completely!! LOL enjoy!!)
It was about 1:15 on Monday afternoon. We were on our way home from a staff meeting with the Children's Home. I had been waiting for the call all during the meeting, but it never rang. Well, it did, but it wasn't "the call." Referral calls had been trickling in all morning and friends would call to give me the update or see if I had been called yet. ( Everyone else at the staff meeting was on the verge of a nervous breakdown from my phone ringing every five minutes...they would all jump as I looked at the phone only to say, "'s just Valerie")

As we drove down that road, heading for Johnson City my heart was racing faster with each second. So many of the families in our group had gotten their calls already...why hadn't we??? Okay...I wasn't going to let myself go there yet!!

I kept checking my phone to see how many "bars" I had. We were in an area known for "bad reception". I went over the plan with David, "Okay...when they call, you need to pull over as fast as you can so we don't loose the signal"...then just to make sure he understood, I went over it again! I'm sure David's eyes rolled when talking to me MANY times that day...but he never let on that I was acting like starke raving lunatic!!

Finally!!!! IT RANG!!!!! My heart stopped when I saw that it said "AWAA" on the screen. I think I may have let out a screech or a screem or something...I immediately starting hollering for David to pull over somewhere...cause he didn't know that is what I wanted him to do! He did and I heard my friend Kim say to me "Hi Shelley! You have a daughter!" Oh my God in heart is going to stop just remembering that day!!!!

I started writing down everything she said (I saved that paper, but it is not very legible) and tried like crazy to keep my heart in my chest as it kept trying to leap out of my body and run around the van. David was kind of in shock...he wasn't nearly as excited as I was at that point. (He made up for it the next day when the package came!) Kim described Aly to us. She, like everyone who meets Aly, said that her eyes "sparkled." Everyone always comments on her eyes and how there is just "something about them."

I don't remember anything else about that drive home...or about the rest of that day come to think of it. It is a total blur...

I remember the next day!! We were expecting a package from DHL that contained all of the information about Aly and most importantly...HER PICTURE. We had our friend Marla lined up to be there early so she could take pictures/video and share the morning we would meet our daughter with us. So, while David was in the living room working on the website...very calm...very quiet...Marla and I were in the office losing our minds. Every vehicle that even looked like it was coming down the driveway and we would start bouncing off the walls.

We used Aly's measurments and created this ...

We started holding up clothes to it to see what might fit her. It was hilarious! Finally we saw that truck coming down the driveway and just as we were about to run outside and accost the poor DHL guy...we realized that it was just the Sears delivery truck! He was delivering something...who knows what...who cares...I have no idea what it was. Anyway, the DHL guy finally arrived...Marla grabbed the cameras...David and I ran to the door...flung it open and waited for him to bring us our daughter! check out the pics....

Our stork...the DHL man. I forgot to get his name!!

the moment we had been waiting for...

Looking at the Beautiful Baby God had given to us!!

What did we ever do to deserve this child!! And who even had a clue that her sister was just two years down the road behind her!!

I can truly say that I went weak in the knees. When I first laid eyes on her, I literally fell back against the wall almost unable to stand. I felt like I had either been using a jackhammer for 30 minutes or had polished off a bottle of wine...go figure! David and I were beside ourselves with joy...he finally was able to believe that this was really going to happen and let out the emotion that he had been holding in for months on end. It was an amazing 24 hours to say the least!!

Before the Foundation of the World...God had planned this to be our child. What an amazing God we serve!!!! Our Alyson Ming-Lian at 5 months old.

Aly at 10 months ...we had this picture blown up to Poster size!! David threatened to take it on the plane with us, but I talked him out of it.

Aly at 5 months...what a cutie pie!!!!!

To all of you who are caught up in this never-ending wait. I know that it sounds trite to tell you that it will be worth the wait...but it really will. I know that you don't believe me when I say that all the waiting and paperchasing and red-tape and craziness and waiting and waiting will fade when you see your childs face...but it really does. I promise!!! Just keep hanging in there and trust that God himself is holding your precious baby safe in his arms until HE can safely deliver him or her into your arms. He will make it all good...He will make it all beautiful...He will make it all perfect in HIS perfect and unmistakable timing!!!!! He started us all on this journey to our children...and he will see us all safely to each other!!!!
In HIS Mighty Mighty Grip!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

November 6, year ago today...

Do you know what you were doing one year ago today? I do...I remember it vividly. David and I were sitting in a staff meeting with the Children's Home. It was in a little cafe in Dandridge Tennessee. My cell phone rang and it was Anna from our Adoption Agency calling to let us know that we had received our Travel Approval to adopt Lili!

Lili was a Special Needs adoption, so Travel Approval is different...for us it was China's official OKAY for us to Adopt her. We had accepted her referral some 70+ days earlier in August and had been waiting for China to tell us that we were approved to adopt her. Well, we got it one year ago today!!!!!

I remember whispering to David that it was AWAA calling and I grabbed the phone and ran out the door and into the parking lot. I couldn't believe it...China had actually approved us to adopt another one of their precious children!!!!!

Lili was only 8 months old when we accepted her referral and 11 months before we got TA. We didn't know how much longer it would be before we could actually get on the plane to leave Nanchang. much to do and so little time to do it. We were in the middle of packing to leave the children's home, packing to go to China, trying to figure out where God was taking us when we got home and what we were going to do when we got there. We still had a large amount of money to raise to complete the adoption. was going to be a LONG few months for about a million reasons!!
As it turned out we left for China on a cold Tennessee morning ...December 12th to be exact. A few short days later, this was our reality...

Okay...well, this was more like our reality....

And now...almost one year later...THIS is our reality

but lets not forget how it was in the beginning with this...

Hope you enjoy the pics and the, what a year!!!

In HIS Mighty Grip ...

Thursday, November 1, 2007

I didn't do it!!

I wish that I had a hidden camera in the girls room...I would have caught some really fun stuff this morning. I'm not sure what actually happened, but the view when I came in the room was priceless!!

I had just come out of my bedroom and was chatting with Jennifer online (BTW...we are all hoping for their referral for Zoe Mei today...pray that they don't lose their minds while they wait!!) Anyway, I heard Lili start crying. So off I went to their room, expecting to find Aly with the lights on or the sound conditioner off or half in the crib or some other offense designed to wake up Lili from her slumber and drive ME to the edge of insanity. As I opened the door I found Lili still asleep but crying and Aly standing next to her crib with her hands up as if to say, "I didn't do it" I said, "Aly!" she replied, "I didn't touch her...I didn't do anything!!!

I realized that Lili was just crying out, as she sometimes does, in her sleep. She rolled over and went right back to sleep. Aly just shook her head and headed for the bathroom. So unfairly judged...poor kid!!!