Thursday, July 28, 2016

Travel Approval!!!!!

China has officially invited us to come to 
China and bring home our boy!!!! 

We have Travel Approval!!!

Plans are in the works for September travel. :)

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Joey's 8th Birthday!

Sunday, July 24th was Joey's 8th birthday!!!

His birthday is less than a month away from Allie's, 
she wanted to celebrate her birthday with his. 
She has such a heart for her new brother.

So we celebrated both our summer birthday 
kiddos a few weeks ago 
with family, pizza, cake and fun.

It was so bittersweet to celebrate without him, 
but such a blessing to know  
that this is his last birthday he'll celebrate without a family.

We also sent him a birthday package to his orphanage 
in hopes that he got it in time for his birthday. 
We've heard he loves Spiderman!
 We also had the special treat of a quick video
 chat with him over his birthday weekend as well! 

We now have two 8 year olds... so crazy and so exciting!!!
We cannot wait to see our "twins" and all our kids together.

Monday, July 11, 2016

We're Getting Closer!!

We get questions every day (which we love, thank you for asking!) about where we are in the process and when we're going to bring Joey home.  Here's where we are right now:

We're actually really close to being at the end of our paper pregnancy!  We expect we'll likely have our "Travel Approval" sometime in August, which is China telling us we can come and get our boy. Last time, when we finally got Travel Approval for Maggie, we hopped on a plane 6 days later to bring her home!

Unfortunately, this time we have several other things we have to consider, and we'll likely wait a few more weeks after Travel Approval to bring him home. First, Maggie's surgery is scheduled for July 22nd, and she'll need several weeks of close supervision to allow her palate heal properly, and she'll be on a soft-foods only diet for a month (ack!). She needs Jeremy and I to be the ones caring for her at that time. Our parents, who will be taking care of the kiddos while we're gone, definitely don't need anymore on their plates than they'll already have!

Also, school starts in August. Since our trip will probably be about 17 days long, there's no way to go to China once we get TA and get back before school starts.  Three of our kids are moving up to a new school this year and those first couple of weeks are so important to get acclimated to all things new.  We want to be here for Allie as she adjusts to first grade and being gone all day to school. We want to allow the boys to feel comfortable in their new buildings before life changes.  We need to help Maggie get back into the swing of things at her school.

Due to the surgery and school starting, we've decided to delay our trip by a few weeks, and we'll likely leave mid-September to bring Joey home.  Part of me feels guilty for not jumping on a plane the second we're able, but having a bigger family means doing our best to meet the needs of everyone, and we feel this is the best way with how the timing has worked out.

Our original plan was to bring both boys with us to be a part of bringing home Joey. Once we started to think through the logistics of feeding a kid with a severe egg allergy in a foreign country, though, we pretty much decided that just Ben would go with us and Sam would hold down the fort here at home. However, we're now back to considering bringing Sam with us... so stay tuned!

So that's where we are right now. Despite having to wait a few extra weeks, it's still only about 2 months from now until we leave, and I'm sure that time will fly.  We continue to work on projects around the house and are doing our best to soak in these summer days with our 4 kiddos who are home... next summer will look a lot different for us, and we can't wait!  Our hearts and minds are not far from Joey. I can't imagine what he must be thinking and feeling about how his life is about to change.  We keep praying for his heart to be prepared for all that is coming up for him.

For those of you who have asked, you can still make a donation towards our adoption process via Lifesong for Orphans:

Please make checks payable to “Lifesong for Orphans.” In the memo, please note our family name and account number, “Coleman 5974”.  Please mail to Lifesong for Orphans, PO Box 40, Gridley, IL 61744.

2.  Another option is to give online at Select “Give to an Adoptive Family”. Complete the online form and fill in Family Account Number, 5974 and “Family name, Coleman.”  Note that Paypal charges an administrative fee per transaction and your donation will be decreased by the amount of this fee (2.2% plus .30 per transaction).
We appreciate your prayers and support so much and will continue to update as we get closer.

One of the first pictures I saw of our little guy.  
I knew he was special from the very first glance!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Update & a Video Chat!

Last week we got 2 new pictures and a little bit of an update on Zhao Yu.  He's looking so much older with his adult teeth in the front. He's such a handsome little guy!  They continue to describe him as happy, outgoing and helpful. We're not sure if his measurements are accurate, but he appears to be really small for his age. This is likely the last update we'll get on him before we go to bring him home, so I think we'll be making a wild stab in the dark at what size clothes and shoes to bring for him!

We also had a very unexpected treat on the other night. We got to have a video chat with our guy!! He was shy but had a smile on his face the entire time. He doesn't speak English, but is able to mimic some things to us. He said "Mommy, Daddy and I love you."  Totally melted my heart.  The translator who was with him told us he'd like us to adopt him.and wanted to know when we're coming to get him.  We got to see around his classroom and we showed him around out house.  The boys got to "meet" him but the girls were sleeping.  He said he likes basketball and wants to learn to play the piano. :)  He's such a brave boy, can you imagine being nearly 8 years old and knowing your whole life is about to change?

We're very thankful for that time with our sweet son, we're hopeful it'll help ease his transition a bit when he comes home.