Two China Dolls and a Prince!

This blog chronicles the story of 2 of our adoptions, both older children when they came home. It begins in 2008 and will continue in the hopes we can be of encouragement and information to anyone thinking of older child adoption.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Ater 110 days of waiting, we have final approval from the Chinese government to be the parents of little Judi, who will be 3 years and 10 months old when we meet her! We are so excited and I admit I'm a little scared of how she will react to us, being so much older than Jazmin was. I can only pray that it will all come together as it is meant to be.
Jr took the kiddos to his Mom's and then Dad's house for 4 days and I had all these plans to do stuff in the house. But working and getting a sinus infection and Dad and I snuck in one last trip to Silver Dollar City, the house is at least presentable. But for the next 6 weeks, it's going to be a whirlwind of packing, cleaning, organizing, and storing things!
Love to you all and hoping you have a wonderful New Year! We're celebrating with some friends for the first time in a long time, so we're pretty excited about that, too!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A wonderful Christmas gift!! and 103 days waiting..

The lady we posted about, Sarah S, from Massachusetts, that won our gift card raffle has given us the most wonderful Christmas surprise: she has offered to donate the winnings back to us for the adoption! What an incredibly selfless gesture; I am still in awe of her generosity. Thank you, Sarah, so much; you hold a special place in our hearts!
Debbie and Jr; now 103 days waiting for LOA

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

And the winner is............

Each kid got to choose one name, then............ The Winner!!!--->>

Sarah S of Massachusetts!!!! We faced the daunting tasks of putting everyone's name on slips of paper to be drawn by our kids; thank goodness for spreadsheets!! We put all the names in a box, and had Jessica, James, and Jazmin each pick one name (see pics). Then Jazmin got to pick the final name, which was Sarah's! Thank you all so much for your support and wonderful comments! We are getting excited and sooo hoping our LOA comes this week. I keep thinking Judi is getting older every day and we've already missed almost 4 years of her life; I don't want to miss another minute! The waiting has begun to be hard on the kids; they literally ask every day when our approval will come. Jessica, my teen, even told me the other day she will miss us; be still my heart! This is the same kid who alternately will say she can't wait til we go, because she's excited about staying at her friend's house! I still wish so much we could take them, but with the increase in the orphanage fee, that's pretty much an impossibility now.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

First Christmas Program!

Tonight was Jazmin's first ever school Christmas program! She was so excited all day and couldn't wait to dress up! She loved having the jingly bell thing in her hair; all the way to the school she kept shaking her head, it was too funny! After the concert, I got the at least James and Jaz to sit still long enough to snap some photos. Jessica saw the camera and took off! I'm still determined to get all of us, even Grandpa, to sit down together and get at least one family photo!



I was just reading my last two posts and I seem to have a problem. It's obvious I'm focusing too much on the negative things going on right now, so I'm going to take this moment to accentuate the positive. First, my hubby, Jr - he is my complete opposite, when I am stressed, he calms me down. When I get mad, he just lets me work through it. And he's been right there with me as we've slogged thru the paperwork and ups and downs of adoption. He is ready for our new daughter, whatever her future may hold; ready to handle whatever reaction she has to us in China and just go with the flow.
Now, my oldest daughter, Jessica: she's had a rough start to 8th grade, but has just kept plugging along and never giving up. She's a beautiful, bright girl who has to remember sometimes she doesn't have to grow up so fast. In just a little over 4 years, she'll graduate, I can hardly imagine that day; she hates it when I just sit and look at her, but I'm trying to etch these moments on my mind because I know they'll be gone too soon.
James, my son, what a kid! I love talking to him about things, because he doesn't just accept things as is, he's got to know WHY! He'll debate an issue to death and has really stumped me at times with his views. He's smart as a whip, sensitive, and 100% boy. He started 6th grade this year and his biggest adjustment was learning to navigate the social drama of 6th grade; who's going with whom, who broke up with such and such, oh my!
And then there's my baby, Jazmin (who would be mad I called her a baby). She was ready to go to China yesterday! Thanks to her big brother and sister, she's 5 going on 20, and keeps us all in stitches with her antics. She's always ready for a tussle with Bubby (James) or a snuggle with Sissy (Jessica) and everyone who meets her loves her (because she's so sweet and polite, then comes homes and goes crazy with Bubby!)
We have a warm house, food on the table, and will have a nice Christmas. And I am so grateful to the Lord above for these wonderful parts of my life.

LOA news and Giveaway ending soon!

Well, good news and bad news....we found out our dossier (that's the big file that contains every little detail about us that China is looking at right now) is in the "Placement Room". This is the room where LOAs (Letter of Acceptance) are issued, but we've been told it'll be next week before the coveted acceptance is even possible. When you've waited 91 days already and you know your child is changing every day and you're missing it, it's hard to tough out even one more week!
We're continuing to try to raise whatever money we can; my current goal is one plane ticket (about $1,000), and including the giveaway on our blog, we're about 1/3 there. But it's slow going; Ebay can be cumbersome, Christmas is looming, and we still have to pay the deductible once our Jeep is fixed. To the 15 people who've entered our giveaway to help bring Judi home, know that your generosity is so appreciated and I wish good luck to everyone! The giveway ends Monday evening at 11:59pm; please tell your friends and neighbors if they want a chance to win some spending money for Christmas!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Getting soooo close!

We are at 88 days waiting for LOA. Now the wait has become real, so close to when we could really begin to expect it. It's amazing how important one little piece of paper is; how pivotal to a child's life. Recently, the CCAA (China Center for Adoption Affairs in Beijing) asked us for letters stating that some surgeries we'd had many years ago hadn't left us with any issues or ongoing health problems. They didn't ask this at all with Jazmin's adoption; they're being very particular now with every detail of a person's life. Our agency said this might delay our approval, but I hope not by much.
Today we also heard, after many months of rumors, that the orphanage fee is officially being increased from $3000 to $5100 starting Jan. 1. That means that we will be hit by this, UNLESS the CCAA takes mercy on us adoptive parents and pushes back the start date to March or something; pray that this happens! I'm already selling on Ebay, having our gift card giveway, putting away pennies and dimes; running out of fundraising ideas!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Giveaway has changed.......

In consideration of the economy, and to make our Giveaway more appealing to more people, we have decided to give away a GIFT CARD instead of the Wii! Currently, we will give away a $125 gift card to the store or stores of the winner's choice. The higher the donations, the higher the gift card will go; as it says, if we reach $500 in donations, the gift card will be valued at $175! If we reach 100% of our goal, we will give away a $200 gift card!
I hope this won't offend anyone; we purchased the Wii, so donations would have to get fairly high before we could break even, so we figured this way everyone wins! P.S. If you have already donated, your donation will be converted to chances for the gift card at $1 each; this is how it breaks down - 1 chance/$1, 6 chances/$5, 12 chances/$10, 24 chances/$20. I hope this won't offend anyone; if it does, I apologize and will offer a refund of your donation if you choose.
Thank you for helping us with our "Journey to Judi"!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

A close call....

Wow, today at church we are saying a prayer of thanks. Jr was driving home with James and Jazmin in the Jeep and was slammed into by a car speeding over a hill on our road, not more than a quarter mile from home. The car hit Jazmin's side but luckily far enough back, she wasn't hurt. Other than being a little sore, James and JR are ok, too. The Jeep may be totalled though, as the axle and frame have been damaged. If they don't total it, we have a $500 deductible that was definitely NOT in the budget and if they do total it, I HATE car shopping! It never fails, that just when I "think" I have the finances at a manageable point, something happens to blow it out of the water. Luckily, though, my dad has an extra car he is loaning us until we figure something out, so at least we can get back and forth to work this week.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Day 68....

Day 68 and counting.........most LOAs (letter of acceptance) seem to be arriving right around 90 days, so we have December 10 marked on our calender! I hope we don't wait longer than that; but at least i have the holidays to keep me busy. It's usually never clear why adoptions are delayed or some take longer than others, but in our case, with the challenges Jessica is facing, we are right where we need to be. The delays in our adoption process have ensured we can take care of her needs before we go to China. I believe with all my heart, God orchestrated this timeline perfectly, and it will all work out exactly as He has designed.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

About the Wii

We are raffling off a brand new Wii System to raise some travel funds for China to get our sweet little girl! The system comes with the Wii system, two controllers, a nunchuk, Wii Sports pack,and the Wii Play pack for a total of 14 games! Thanks so much for helping us torwards our goal!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


WE JUST GOT THE MOST AMAZING THING! It had been awhile since we'd had any info on Judi, so I went through the same service we did back in March. Well, two weeks later, here it is, and holy cow, we actually got two pictures!! Remember, Judi is in Kunming; this is a notoriously hard orphanage and foster care to get information out of, so we are truly blessed by these pictures! The funny thing is, pay special attention to the measurements at the end. These indicate she is only 33" tall and weighs 24.5 lbs; the March update had her at 36.6" and 28 lbs. Wonder how it's possible for a kid to shrink 3 inches?! I think I tend to believe this set of measurements because she sure looks tiny in the pictures. Isn't she just scrumptious? All my fears have literally been washed away; it feels so right in my heart to look at these new pictures and think of her as a "Cavender". The kids were just thrilled to see her, and Jazmin is carrying around copies of her pictures in her many purses!
1. Is she showing any evidence of effects from her diagnosis, i.e. learning difficulties, seizures, physical delays?
2. We would like to send a care package, when would it be given to her?
After we receive the care package we will forward it to your child in appropriate time. (I guess it means after their make sure you ARE her family-after you sign the document).
3. What is her personality like?
She is fairly introverted. She is very sweet and she talks gently.
4. Is she in school or receiving any education?
No, she is not in school. She is receiving education from the foster family under orphanage¡¯s guidance, such as play games, sing songs, etc.
5. How long has she been in foster care?
We have mentioned when she was sent to the foster family in the file sent to CCAA, you may ask your agency.
6. Does she have foster siblings?
She has two sisters in the foster family. One is bigger and another is smaller.
7. How does she sleep?
She sleeps well.
8. Does she sleep alone or with a family member?
She sleeps alone.
11. Height: 84cm; Weight: 12kg; Head: 46cm; Chest: 52cm; Teeth: 16; Foot: 13.5cm.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


My babies (even the big ones) started a new school year today. Jessica is in 8th, James is in middle school now (6th), and Jazmin, that little baby we welcomed over 3 years ago, started kindergarden today.
She had her outfit all picked out a week in advance, and loves her new Princess backpack with matching lunchbox! We got her haircut (but so short!), but she does look cute, like a little pixie!
I at least managed to wait until they got on the bus before I cried. Then I got myself together and went in to enjoy my nice quiet house!
When they all got home, they were full of talk; sometimes, I have to pick one to speak at a time, as they all want to be the first to tell about their day, and I only have two ears! Jazmin had a good day, but she fell asleep on the bus home; I think the "no nap" thing this year is going to be the hardest part for her; the teacher said it's because the state has so many learning requirements now, they need the extra time; isn't that sad, that now, even in kindergarden, you have to "buckle down" and get to work!
Have to go now and feed 3 hungry kiddos!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

WE HAVE OUR I-171H!!!!

In adoption land, this is the absolute best news ever! This was our last big hurdle to getting our dossier to China; finally after soooo long and soooo many delays!! We should have been DTC in June or July, but because of the homestudy and immigration delays, now it looks like we won't have Judi until 2009! This is so frustrating on so many levels; and many others are experiencing even more angst because on April 1st, the Hague treaty went into effect.
This is a new set of regulations the USA and other countries agree to abide by in international adoption. By paying attention to our adoption Yahoo group, we squeaked in under that date, and so we are one of the "lucky" ones who did not have to submit an I-800 instead of an I-600. The Hague has slowed everything down to a crawl; a process that took about 6 weeks is now taking over 3 months! Many families are just lost in the bureaucracy and there is absolutely nothing they can do. There are also much stricter homestudy guidelines and almost every family is having to redo their homestudy to comply. I thank the Lord every day he led me to that Yahoo group and told me to "pay attention"!


Wow, what a rollercoaster ride! We're being transferred to Heritage Adoption Services, an agency that is tops by all accounts; I got my dossier back from Adoption House and Heritage has it. All we're waiting on is official approval of the transfer by the CCAA.

In the meantime, I had not heard or seen our approval from immigration. I have emailed and called and gotten no responses; I keep thinking something must be wrong. I finally got fed up and called in the big guns; Ike Skelton, our Missouri State Rep. Sometimes, families have to do this to find anything out or get things taken care of. Their office called immigration for me and when Ike Skelton calls, people listen! I found out they wanted additional information from usI wonder how long this would have taken if I had just sat back and waited?
I have a feeling I know what it's about; my homestudy agency failed to include in my homestudy a copy of their license agreement; my old adoption agency didn't catch this, our new one did! Stay tuned.........

Thursday, July 31, 2008


Well, to catch up...
I got the letter from immigration and they wanted, as I suspected, the license from the homestudy agency. BUT, and this is the most ridiculous thing, they wanted to know how many times Jr had been married (uh, DUH, did they actually READ the homestudy??), and the address of Adoption House.
Ok, so the VERY NEXT DAY, I had a letter typed up and copies of all the necessary documents; I drove up to immigration to deliver it personally. I walk in and there's two security guards there. It's Wednesday, the "open" day to just walk in. I told them what I was there for and the younger one said "well, there's no one here today that can help you; you'll have to send it in the mail" WHAT???!!! I remained calm and said I had done this same thing with my homestudy weeks earlier. They said well, they weren't allowed to do that anymore. I was seething, but left 'cause I just couldn't think straight. This was clearly simply a case of them not wanting to be bothered to go to any "extra" work.
I got in the car and drove about a block, and then just said "NO WAY!" I am NOT going to sit still for this; I whipped the car around (kids were with me again) and headed back.
This time, I walked in and right off, told them the name of the adoption officer, and that all I needed to do was hand her these documents; that's all! Surely, this wasn't an unreasonable request! Finally, the younger of the two realized I wasn't going to play nice and go away and he went to find the officer.
Turns out the reason I never got an answer to my emails or phone calls was the officer had been out of the office with a broken hip! The guard said, however, there was a new person now, and he said he would deliver my papers to her. I thanked him nicely and left victorious!!

Thursday, July 24, 2008


Today we got an email and when I opened it, I literally freaked out. It was from our adoption agency and it said "we are closing". I can't describe to you the feelings I experienced with those words; it was a blow and all I could think of was losing Judi; how on earth would I explain this to the kids??!!
I read a little further and the email went on to explain that our adoptions were safe (though trust had gone out the window by now) and not to worry.
You should have seen the emails from the families on our agency Yahoo group; they were flying back and forth all night. We all have no idea what will happen; all we can do is sit and wait; some of the families are very close to DTC (dossier to China), including us! In fact, I had just sent my dossier to Adoption House with a big check attached; at 11:00 pm, I called my bank's 1-800 # and cancelled it. This is just crazy; how does something like this happen?
We are praying hard tonight; if God's plan is for Judi to come home to us, He will make it happen. If not, we must trust Him, though my heart will be broken.

Thursday, July 3, 2008


For anyone not in the adoption world, this is a BIG step! After waiting 3 weeks for our notice to BE fingerprinted (you have to be invited), I had to call. I actually got ahold of a REAL, LIVE person at the office, and she said she would send me the notices asap. Well, I practically camped out at the mailbox all weekend and by Tuesday, no notice. Imagine my disgust and embarassment when I realized she had sent them by EMAIL, for goodness sake! So I had them for 3 days and didn't even know it!
So today, we drove 1.5 hours up to the immigration office, walked in and walked out 10" later, and drove 1.5 hours home. Now, we wait for the real deal, the final immigration approval, the coveted I-171H!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

THE BIG 40!!

Today is my birthday; I am 40 years old. I simply cannot wrap my mind around that number; I don't feel as if I should be this "old"! James has told me all day that I look very young for "my age"; I think that's supposed to make me feel better?! Jessica, 14, of course, tells it like it is; "you know, Mom, you'll start to get wrinkles now!" Trust me, they're there now, they're just easier to hide right SO FAR! And Jazmin tells me "you're so beautiful, Mommy!" Just makes me grab her up and squinch her in a hug.
She talks non-stop about Judi and what she will teach her; I hope the reality is as good as the anticipation. We are still waiting on the notice for our fingerprint appt; should have been here by now. I'm giving it til Monday, then I'm calling!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Hi! Been a bit since my last post; a lot going on! While waiting for PA, we assumed our homestudy was being worked on; I found out at end of April, nothing had been done since our visit on March 26th. Turns out she was sick (I don't know with what) and wound up taking a leave of absence from work. I called and insisted that someone, anyone continue with it. A wonderful woman named Jan Motl, the supervisor, took it on, and we finally got to meet. There were a lot of changes necessary, and it took another 4 weeks! to get it all straightened out, signed, and notarized.
Finally, on this day, June 10th, which also happened to be my son, James',11th birthday, it was done! I (with all 3 kids in tow) drove to Kansas City to pick it up at the Catholic Charities office and then the plan was to take it 3 miles down the road to the State Dept to have it certified. Well, 45" later! I finally found the building (still had to call them and direct me while I was driving). So we go upstairs to get it done, and I'm "late"! It will take 2 to 3 hours to get one document certified! So here I am, in a stuffy government office, wondering what to do with 3 bored kids, and a birthday!
Well, one of the ladies must have been an angel, because she reminded me Crown Center was just a few blocks away! Hooray! We went and had a great time, ate at a restaurant where you order the food and a train brings it to you and it lowers to the table. The food is terrible (I thought), but the kids loved everything about it!
After that, we went back and got our now-certified homestudy and immediately drove another 20" to immigration in North Kansas City and dropped off the homestudy. Come on, fingerprint appointment!
Now, I just want to say, though I'm sure this wasn't the way James wanted to spend his birthday, all the kids were great and we managed to have some fun, too! We did celebrate with cake, ice cream, and presents that night, too. They are all realizing just how involved the adoption process is, even Jazmin. While she (nor I) doesn't understand WHY we need all this paperwork, when I tell her it's all so we can go get Judi, it seems to make the wait a little easier for her.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Yeah, we finally got it, after 72 days of agonizing waiting, the PA, or preliminary approval!! This means we have the green light to go ahead and submit the 'BIG" file, the dossier. I have it all ready, just waiting for the homestudy to be done. Then we can get our fingerprints and be on our way! Jazmin keeps getting on her toy cell phone and "calling" the "workers" in China to let them know we're coming in "10 hours" to get Judi; I wish! At least now I can finally put her picture here; doesn't she just have the cutest face! I "think" she's about 2 here.
Just yesterday, Jazmin said, "I'm getting taller to be a big sister, am I, Mommy?" She talks about the things she will show Judi and even says what she WON'T show her, lol! Now if I could just get that across to the big kids!
Now that we have PA, I feel I can really start working on Jazmin's room, putting organizers in there, getting it all set up for two sweet little girls! I'm trying to sell stuff to raise money to buy the things I need for in there instead of using the loan; have to find some time to get stuff on Ebay and it's garage sale season!i

Thursday, March 27, 2008


Ugh! Still waiting for that darn PA! Day 49! Two families adopting from the same agency list got theirs last week and our paperwork (LOI) went in about a week later, so I'm really hoping this week is our turn!
Today at 1, we have ALL 4 of our homestudy visits! I'm so excited to have it all out of the way; this will shave about 6 weeks off our time frame, I hope. All the kids are asking when are we going to get Judi!? I try to explain the process of paperwork to them, but they just want their sister home. It's really sweet that they already consider her part of the family.
Will post later about how the home visit went....

Saturday, March 22, 2008


It's been awhile since my last posting mainly because I've been frantically paperchasing and then I forgot my own username and password to get back here!
Here's the latest: after my last post, we were 13 days into the wait for PA. What is PA, you ask? This is Preliminary Approval. Once we were "matched" with our little Judi, we had to submit 4 things, a summary of basic information about our family, a letter stating how we would care for Judi and what medical/educational resources we would utilize, an application, and of course, a small preliminary fee. All these documents are sent to China to the CCAA, the China Center of Adoption Affairs, who reviews it and hopefully, issues the "PA".
In the meantime, I've been getting together our dossier; this is the BIG file that goes to China after we get PA. It includes such things as our homestudy, financial info, police records, employer letters, etc. I'll explain more about that for my family and friends as we go along. The only glitch in the whole thing so far has been the reaction from a few people, which has been way different from the reaction to our first adoption, I think because we chose Special Needs this time. A couple of our acquaintances are pretty negative about it, so I am careful about sharing adoption news with them. Thankfully, there are still lots of people I can share my happiness and excitement with. It's hard for me to understand how opening your heart and home to an orphan can ever be viewed as negative. I just ask God for His strength and know that this is His plan for our life.
We have had really great news this month. All we knew about Judi was what her medical file from the adoption agency contained. We had no more information after Sept. 2007. We learned about a lady that knew another lady in China who could "ferret" out more information for us. We heard from her this week and got GREAT NEWS! Judi is apparently showing no signs of any physical or mental delays (YEAH!), is potty-trained (double YEAH!), likes dolls and toy cars (James is excited about this as he has about 200 hot wheels!), likes candy (dental visit in the cards!), and is somewhat afraid of strangers (Gotcha Day should be veeery interesting!). She's 36.6 inches tall, and weighs about 28 lbs. However, we are keeping in mind that any info coming out of China is not necessarily 100% ironclad, so we're going to go to get her with completely open minds and expecting anything..
Jazzy is so excited about Judi! She asks every day when we will go get her! Part of me wishes we wouldn't have said anything until we had official PA, but her (Jazzy's) adoption decision was made as a family and we followed suit with Judi's. We would never have pursued adopting again if the whole family hadn't been on board; Jessica and James are such open-hearted kids; they already refer to Judi as "my new sister", the same way they did with Jazmin. And I'm sorry to brag, but I have to say that Jazmin herself is one incredible kid! Every day I thank God countless times for allowing me to be her mother; she truly is a gift and we can't imagine life without her.
We have found out that Judi is in a foster family also, complete with an older (foster) sister. Though this will be hard on her to leave them, we hope to be able to stay in contact with them and send them pictures throughout the years. With Jazzy traveling to China with us, we're hoping her presence will ease Judi's grief at saying goodbye to her foster family.
Day 44 in the wait for PA! Arrrgh! Two people adopting from our agency list got their PA early this week and we're about 6 days behind them, so keep your fingers crossed for next week!
For my family and friends: I can't post pictures of Judi until I have PA, so if you want to see her, go to, click on "International" on the left side of the screen. Then click "China Special Needs", then "Available Children". Judi is almost at the bottom of the list under the name "Ruby".
Til next time!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


I feel kind of bad as I start this because I didn't do this for our first adoption. So this blog will be the story of Jazmin AND Judi as we pursue Judi's adoption and they become sisters. First, a little about our family. We are the Cavenders: there is my husband, JR, and I (Debbie), my oldest bio daughter, Jessica (13), my bio son, James III (10), and Jazmin, our youngest at 4 1/2, adopted on Nov. 15, 2004 at 17 months old. We adopted her using Holt International, and from the day of application to Gotcha Day, it took 20 months. When we went to bring her home, she was not a happy camper for 3 days! She would not stand, crawl, smile, or let me go! Didn't like Daddy at all! She was a very quiet, withdrawn baby and would really not interact with anyone but me. After 3 days, our guide gave her some medicine to make her poop; that night, she walked for the first time; I cried. After that, she never looked back! Her beautiful personality just started blossoming; she was funny, and sweet, and just knocked her brother and sister's socks off when we came home. I had been afraid that I would not love her as much as my biological children, but when they placed her in my arms, I was overwhelmed. She was ours, clear and simple.
Now she is the light of all our lives and so excited about her sister-to-be, Judi Elizabeth. The idea of adopting again and adding a fourth child to our family is scary, but we have spent countless hours in prayer and believe this is God's plan for our life. We found Judi on the SN photolisting at Adoption House, her list name is "Ruby". She is almost 3 (April). We are currently LOI and 13 days into the wait for PA. Paperchasing has begun in earnest. Please follow along with us on our journey to bring Judi home to us.

Thursday, February 7, 2008


Follow along with us on a wonderful journey to China to bring home our fourth child, Judi Elizabeth. We have been to China already once to bring home Jazmin Xiu at 17 months old. She is now 4 3/4 and very excited about having a little "mei-mei" to be pals with.
We have spent about a year praying about the decision to adopt again. Adding a fourth child seemed like an impossibility at first. THe more we prayed, however, the more it seemed right. We always said we wanted 4 kids, we just didn't know God intended for us to build our family in a non-traditional way!
So we searched and searched for just the right little girl; we had an idea of the special needs we felt we could take care of. So of course, when we found Judi, her special need was one we had never even imagined. After careful review of her file by medical people and some input from folks who have Been There, Done That, and yes, more prayer, we decided to go for it. As I go on to explain in our first entry, this is not just Judi's story, but Jazmin's as well as she will be traveling with us to China to bring Judi home.
Judi's Chinese name is Wu Wang Rou and she is in foster care in Kunming, China. Her special need is listed as "encephalatrophy", which is basically atrophy of the brain. Sounds scary, I know. She had a bout of encephalitis at 7 months old which caused some structural changes to her brain, hence the "atrophy" label. According to all the reports we've gotten, however, she is doing just fine and is developmentally on target for a 3 year old; while we are mentally preparing for any outcome, we are thankful that God has shown his grace so far on this little one!