Thursday, June 26, 2008

What is she thinking about?

This is one of my favorite pictures of Arianna. There is just something about this picture that makes me wonder what she is thinking. Her eyes are so beautiful and I wonder what is going on behind them. When this picture was taken she was just reunited with her best friend Lauren after a three day separation. We have a video of the reunion and you can tell how much these girls love each other. At the time this picture was taken I don't think that Arianna knew if she would ever see her best friend again. This was a last goodbye for her, as far as she knew.
I also wonder how she is feeling right now, knowing that her family is just days away from coming to get her. She has waited her whole life for this moment. She has seen many younger children come in and then leave a few months or years later, and yet she is still there waiting. I know that I have had many struggles with waiting for our paperwork to go through and waiting to go to China to bring Arianna home, but there is no comparison to what it must be like for her. It gives me a whole new appreciation for Arianna and for all that she has been through in her life. I also hope it will be a reminder to me to be patient when things don't always go the way I want them too. Because, even though Arianna didn't know that she would be reunited with her best friend, she was truly happy for Lauren and knew that someday soon her family will be coming for her too. And now that day is almost here!!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

China trip website

I will be posting on this blog and on our new website at under the name Arianna Sumner. I hope you all will continue to follow along!

Friday, June 13, 2008

I'm happy to report....

That we finally have travel dates!!! We will be leaving for China on July 5th, and we will arrive in Guangzhou on July 6th!! We will then have our "Forever Family Day" with Arianna on July 7th. I am so glad that we can now count off the days until we receive our precious new daughter! I hope that you will all pray for us as we travel, that things will go smoothly and pray for Arianna as she is being prepared to join her new family. We will be posting on this blog during our stay in China.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Give me a T, Give me an A...

And what does that spell? TA!!! YAY!! We heard from our agency today that our TA's are winging their way to us. So that means that we will most likely be leaving for China July 4th and receiving Arianna July 6th. In some ways that feels like forever, but I know the time will pass quickly and we will be in China before we know it! And then you all will be able to see new pictures of our precious daughter with her family!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Older Child Adoption

I would like to spend a few minutes talking about older child adoption. Last fall, when I was starting to feel the pull to adopt again I spent alot of time looking for a baby that was younger then Alenna. I was hoping to find a baby that was around a year old or younger. I brought the information about several babies to Tim hoping that he would feel that one of them was our new daughter. He never did. At the same time the Lord was using several different things in my life to help me open my heart to an older child. Not to long later Arianna became available. When I showed her information to Tim he told me that he would consider it. After much prayer we decided to adopt her. Even though she was completely different then what I thought I wanted for a fifth child I couldn't be happier. But, I do want to talk about some of my reasons why I was so hesitate to adopt an older child and why I now feel so strongly about older child adoption.
One of our biggest fears were that she would not want to be adopted. We were afraid that we would go through the whole process, get to China and find out that she didn't want a family. Another fear was that we would not be able to understand her and that she could not understand us. I also wondered whether she would accept our religious beliefs. I also had to consider how I would feel knowing that we had missed out on so much of her life, and the fact that we probably would not have any pictures of when she was a baby or younger child. On top of all that, there was the issue of attachment. Will she attach to us, or will we be just another caregiver for her? These were all very real fears for us and things that we had to consider and work through. In spite of these fears we took the step of faith to adopt an older child. Now that we are so close to bringing her home I can see how the Lord has worked to calm our fears and show us that it is OK. I know from the bottom of my heart that we will be so blessed that we decided to have faith in where the Lord was leading us. One of the ways that the Lord has shown us that this is right, is that our biggest fear was that she would not want to be adopted. Through the contact of Arianna's best friends family and the person that sent us pictures this week, I can say with assurance that she does want to be adopted and is very excited about her new family. The person that sent me the pictures from this week had this to say about her" Her eyes tell the story" Finally I have someone to love me, finally someone has chosen me". Those words are so precious to me. I truly can't imagine what it would be like to be an child growing up in an orphanage seeing younger kids come in and stay for awhile and then leave for their new life with a family. It would be so hard wondering when it was their turn to be adopted and wondering why it hadn't happened yet. Every year getting older and knowing that someday time would run out and they would be too old to be adopted. My heart breaks for those whose time has run out and now they are without hope. If in reading our story, your heart is opened to the idea of adopting an older child, I hope you will. I am glad that there are so many families that are wanting to adopt babies, I think it is so important to get these kids out of the orphanages as soon as possible, but there are just as many if not more wonderful older kids who need homes and families too. And their time is swiftly running out. If anyone has questions about older child adoption, please feel free to ask me. I would be happy to answer and questions.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

New pictures from TODAY!!!!

This morning when I checked my e-mail I was thrilled to find new pictures of Arianna from someone who had visited her at the SWI today! He had many sweet things to say about her and it was such a blessing to know that she is doing well. He told us that her favorite subject in school is English! She is very happy to have a MaMa and BaBa, and is excited that we will be there soon to get her. I have been so blessed with this adoption that we have been able to get so many pictures and video of Arianna and to have people that have met her, to tell us what she is like and how she is doing. I am also thankful that when I needed some encouragement the most the Lord provided that in the form of these new pictures. God is Good!!