Sunday, November 30, 2008


We celebrated Thanksgiving this year at my sister-in-laws house. We had a great time. Dinner was excellent and it was so nice to talk and laugh with family. The only thing missing was Halainah. But we took comfort knowing that this was the last Thanksgiving that we will be a family of 2. There is so much that Tony and I have to be thankful for and we made sure that we thanked God for every blessing he has bestowed upon our lives.

Tony and I spent the following 3 days preparing our house for our special addition. So we moved Tony's work room out of the 3rd bedroom and downstairs to the basement. Special, special thanks to Uncle Mario for building Tony's room in the basement for him. I honestly dont know what I would do without Uncle Mario. So now that the 3rd bedroom is empty we were able to paint the ceiling in that room as well as the hallway. Now once we finish painting the 3rd bedroom we will be able to move the T.V. room out of Halainah's future room and into the 3rd bedroom. We have so much left to do but its finally getting done.
We were so busy this weekend but amongst all of the hustle and bustle we talked and dreamt about Halainah the entire time. We want our baby girl home. We are still holding onto the miracle that maybe we will be in China for Christmas.


I hold you in my heart and touch you in my dreams.

You are here each day with me, at least that's what it seems.

I know you wonder where we are...what's taking us so long.

But remember child, I love you so and God will keep you strong.

Now go outside and feel the breeze and let it touch your skin...

Because tonight, just as always, I blow you kisses in the wind.

May God hold you in his hand until I can be with you.

I promise you, my darling, I'm doing all that I can do.

Very soon, You will have a family for real, not just pretend.

But for tonight, just as always, I blow you kisses in the wind.
May God wrap you in his arms and hold you very tight.

And let the angels bring the kisses that I send to you each night.

-Author Unknown

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


So if you have been following my posts you will know that I have been extremely depressed about the burdens this adoption has been financially on my family. And something had happened last week that basically snatched our security blanket right from underneath our feet. I have been feeling despair and questioning how on earth I will be able to continue. I have been praying to God, not for money because that is not something you pray for. I have been praying for security, to feel God's presence telling me that everything will be fine.

Well, I went to Boston, MA today with my Uncle Mario to pick up my cousins Alyssa and Billy from Suffolk University as they were coming home for Thanksgiving. While we were there, we met up with a realtor that took us to see an apartment that my cousins are interested in renting. I took a good look around so that I could give them my honest opinion. While looking all around, I noticed for some odd reason the apartment number on the door, which was the number 3. I didn't think anything of was just a number and after a while we left the apartment.

Next we stopped off at a little Italian restaurant for lunch. While sitting at the table waiting for our meals, I noticed the front door. On the front door, I noticed the number of the restaurant which was 333. That is when it hit me...hmmmm what is the significance of the number 3 that I keep seeing and running into. Not only did I see it again on the front door but this time it was three 3's right in a row.

As the day continued, I ran into the number 3 so many times and I kept pointing them out to everyone. I think at that point I started to annoy them. But to me, there was something more there. There was something more than just the number 3.

The number 3 is the number of personal completeness. It is the number of the Godhead, it stands for the triune God. A complete man is formed with spirit, soul and body. 3 is also a number of resurrection. The Lord Jesus is resurrected on the 3rd day. The earth came of the water of the 3rd day. It is said that the number 3 is used 523 times in Scripture!

Three is the number associated with the Godhead, for there are "three persons in one God." Three times the Seraphim cry, "Holy, Holy, Holy" - one for each of the three persons in the Trinity. "And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory." (Isaiah 6:3).

The number 3 signifies life, vitality, inner strength, completion, imagination, creativity, energy, and self-exploration. Three stands for trilogy as in the past, present, and future or father, mother, and child.

The family triangle of Father and Mother is complete only when they have a child. Thus Father = 1, and Mother = 1, and Baby = 1, which equals a family of 3.

I wrote this blog tonight to let everyone know that God is so powerful, beyond our imagination. I have asked in prayer for reassurance once again that our journey is the right path. God has answered my prayers in the form of the number 3 because 3 completes our family triangle, Tony, Deanna and Halainah.

I prayed to God and asked for security that all will be alright. God answered my prayers in the form of the number 3 as the number 3 represents the Trinity, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Of course everything will be alright, if you put all your faith in God. God has answered my prayers in many ways. You may not always know for certain when your prayers are answered, you have to look around. It may not be written in black and white or letters for that matter. If you look hard enough you will find the answers to your prayers and today mine were answered with The Number 3.

Praise Be To God

Sunday, November 23, 2008


So sorry for not posting in the last few days, depression is terrible. But with the support of family and friends and a loving husband I am slowly trying to look through the rose colored glasses.

When I am feeling really down, I usually go shopping. OK not usually, I do go. That cheers me up BIG time. Well I can't go shopping anymore unless I win the lottery. So the next best thing is to look through all of the cutest things that either I have collected while we waited or family has given to Halainah. So here you go, a few of my favorite things.

The first outfit is from Aunt Deb, a traditional Chinese outfit in a beautiful light blue color. Halainah is going to look beautiful in it. And her cousin Cassandra who is six months older than Halainah has a matching set. I think we may just have to have a professional picture taken with the 2 beautiful cousins who united from halfway across the world. Aunt Deb has also given Halainah all of Cassandra's clothes that she outgrows and it's perfect timing. As soon as Cassandra outgrows them, Halainah should fit into them. And again, unless I win the lottery soon, I need to stay out of the stores. So thank you a million times Aunt Deb for the clothes and tons of baby stuff.

Notice the baby jade bracelet. Oh it is so so so cute. Another gift especially from Aunt Deb. It is teeny tiny and it is a beautiful shade of green. This little bracelet has a lot of meaning to me and my little gem. For thousands of years, Jade has been the most sought-after jewel in the orient. In China, people treasure it more than any other gem. There is a Chinese saying that everything has a price, but jade is priceless. Jade has been fashioned into tools and ornaments since the earliest periods of Chinese history. The Chinese believed that jade was the Stone of Heaven and anything that was made of it was imbued with special powers to protect against evil. There are legends and mysterious stories about how jade lead the mortal to become immortal, the poor to become rich and how is saved a person from disaster.

Gradually, jade became a symbol of peace, kindness, elegance, and eternity. In China, people believe that jade is more than just and ornament, that it can bring safety, wealth, health, longevity and peace of mind. I think I need to get a jade bracelet myself.

The next outfit is from her mommy. It is called a pillowcase dress and it is hand made. Her name is also embroidered on it which is one of the reasons why I love this dress. I love anything and everything with her name or initials on it. I can't wait to see her in this dress. And of course notice the cute black patent leather shoes. Every little girl needs at least 5 pairs of patent leather shoes in their wardrobe.

So there you have it, a few of my favorite things to cheer me up in a dark time that I am trying to get out of.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Up until now, my posts have all been very positive talking about the day that we finally are united with our miracle daughter. And although we will always be excited thinking about that day, I can't help but feel extremely knocked down today. This adoption has not been easy by any means. It has been rough physically, mentally and financially. And it has been the support of my family and friends and even strangers that has gotten me through. And most certainly it has been God that has shown us miracle after miracle and through that my faith has grown strong. I have a connection with God, a home, a sense of security that I can't say I always had and it's a miraculous feeling. Today was a rough day, a very rough day at that. And I truly believe it is the work of the devil that threw a wrench in God's plan. I have been knocked down, but on my knees, I am left to pray, pray to our Lord above that he will show me the way. While on my knees I feel his power, his presence, his support, his love, his reassurance that it will all work out in the end. It's easy to turn away and fall deeper in a depression and dwell upon the evil that has occurred. I have fell victim to that many times before. But something is different this time. Something is much clearer to me. With all the evil in the world, God exists. In fact, your faith and God's will is so much stronger than we can even fathom. So today, I will not fall victim to evil. No, I will fall to my knees and handle this evil with prayer.

I ask that you please continue to keep Tony and I in your prayers. We will get through this most difficult time. God has a plan for us, this we know. And in God's plan, everything works out and happens for a reason. We did not come this far in our journey for God's plan to crumble. We will be prevailed against the enemy through Jesus Christ. Amen

Thank you Aunt Ann and Jenine for helping me through this most difficult time this evening, I love you both.

Monday, November 17, 2008


Thank you GuGu Annmarie, GuFu Tommy, and cousins Celeste, Antoinette, TJ, Serena and Leanna
Thank you Michelle
Thank you Larry, Ali, Briana and Ashley
Thank you Lila
Thank you Susan

In January 2008 I sent the below message to all of my friends and family asking if they would help create a most special quilt for Halainah so that she would know just how much she is loved way before she physically entered our family. As you can see from the picture, Halainah has only received 5 good wishes. Halainah received 1 good wish from her immediate family so thank you tremendously to her GuGu Annmarie, GuFu Tommy and cousins. The other 4 are from friends some of whom never met me but are so excited for our family and for Halainah and heard about our story from Aunt Deb. All 5 good wishes brought tears to my eyes as it is truly touching how loved Halainah is. So below is the original message I sent out. Please help me gather "100 Good Wishes" for Halainah. It is so very important to me as I want to be able to give this to Halainah when she is older.

To welcome and celebrate a new life, there is a tradition in the northern part of China to make a "Bai Jai Bei", or 100 Good Wishes Quilt. It is a custom to contribute a patch of cloth with a wish for the new baby. Part of the cloth goes into the quilt, and the other part will go into a creative memory book with the wish for the baby. The quilt contains the luck, energy, prayers and good wishes from all of the families and friends who contributed a piece of fabric. The quilt is then passed from generation to generation.

We invite you to join in our "100 Good Wishes" project by contributing two 10" X 10" 100% cotton fabric squares (the same fabric for both squares) and a prayer or "good wish" for our precious daughter. I'm working to keep her culture and background very alive in her life and in her home. We feel that she would enjoy this special keepsake when she is older and can see how many people joined in the prayers to bring her home.

Along with the fabric, please send Halainah a prayer, or "good wish", or anything you would like to share with her on a note. This note will be placed in a special memory book. We know that our daughter will love to see all the people that prayed and loved her before she was home with us.

Thank you for participating and contributing to Halainah's "100 Good Wishes Quilt". We know in the years to come she will treasure each and every one of you for being a special part of her journey home.

Here Is What We Would Like You To Do - 1) Choose any 100% cotton fabric that you like. It just needs to have a design and color that you like. 2)We ask that the fabric is pre-washed to avoid shrinkage. 3) Cut two 10" x 10" squares from the fabric. 4) On an acid free piece of paper (so it will last a long time), attach the second piece of the fabric on the note (so she will know what piece of fabric goes to each wish) and include your good wish note (this can be any type of wish for Halainah) your name and address. The fabric will be used to make a goodquilt, and the notes will be placed in a a special book that we will give to Halainah when she is older.

Ideas For Selecting Quilt Squares - Select a fabric that is meaningful to you. 100% cotton fabric is best, as it washes and wears better. If there are several members in your family, please feel free to send more than one good wish note and pieces of fabric. In China, these quilts were originally made from the garments of family and friends surrounding the child with luck and good wishes.

Ideas For A Good Wishes Note - Well, what would you wish for an infant to have in her life? Some ideas are good health, perseverance, compassion, love, and a sense of humor. Use that as a guide for your good wish note. Keep in mind that our daughter will not see your note until she is older. Please take a few minutes to help us create this very special keepsake. The miracle of this adoption has been helped and nurtured by so many of you and this will be so incredibly meaningful for us as well as our new arrival!

My Idea: One of the hardest obstacles that I have to try and deal with every day is the loss of my very best friend. She would have been so excited to help with our journey to Halainah. I know that she is watching from above and is guiding me through good times and bad. Halainah will know and love her Oma (grandmother in German...that's what my mom wanted to be called....she told me more than once) because I will share all of the warm, fun, and amazing memories of my mom with my daughter...she will have her Oma's picture in her room and know that even though her Oma cannot be with her physically....she's in her heart always. I am putting a patch of material from one of my mom's favorite article of clothing into Halainah's will be special just from her angel Oma in heaven.

If you would like to contribute and don't know my address, please e-mail me at:

Thank you so very much

Sunday, November 16, 2008


Exactly one year ago on November 16, 2007 a beautiful baby girl was born. On November 17, 2007 she was found at the gate of the Social Welfare Institute of Xinzhou District of Shangrao City in China. The director of the orphanage named her Rao Qinyang but she was destined through the grace of God to be named Halainah Grace Napolitano, our daughter, and we were destined to be her Mommy and Daddy.

Today is an extremely difficult day for us as we long to celebrate our daughters miraculous life together with her. Although we are not physically with our daughter may she sense by the grace of God that her Mommy and Daddy will love her unconditionally forever and ever.

Please say an extra prayer for Halainah Grace that she is being celebrated today in her home by her nannies. Please pray for her health and safety and that she can somehow sense all the love that is being sent her way from her Mommy, Daddy, Grandma, Grandpa, Opa, Aunts, Uncles and Cousins.

Halainah Grace, Happy Birthday baby girl. We love you more and more everyday. We celebrate this day, your very first birthday. Although we are not with you on this most special day, we celebrate spiritually with you and promise to love you forever and ever. Big big hugs and thousands of kisses are sent to you by your Mommy and Daddy. We can't wait to see you...real soon...we promise.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


We have finally received our LOA after 92 days of waiting. I can honestly say that it has been agonizing. I love my daughter so much and to not be able to bring her home yet has truly been tough.

I received the call from my agency at 5:10 this evening and let me tell you, I screamed with excitement. We are officially 1 step closer to our baby girl. Here's what happens next. I have to wait to receive our official LOA in the mail which will probably be Saturday or Monday. Of course my agency missed FEDEX for the evening. Once we receive it we need to sign it and overnight it back to them. Once that occurs, we need to once again wait on China to issue us our TA (Travel Approval). That will take anywhere between 2-4 weeks. In the meantime, we need to obtain our VISA which I will begin tomorrow.

Once TA comes in we can make all of the travel arrangements.
So here's the deal. My agency is saying this can all take 8 weeks or longer. I am requesting all my friends and family to pray harder than they have ever prayed before. Hey miracles do happen, just look at my beautiful daughter. Maybe if we pray hard enough we can be united with her on Christmas Day. Please pray for our family to be united with our miracle daughter on Christmas Day. Thank you so much for everyone's prayers and support, your prayers are truly the reason that we are so close to becoming parents.

Halainah Grace, Mommy and Daddy are coming for you....we are so close baby girl!
We love you all the way to Heaven and back and can't wait to hug and kiss you for the very first time!!


Our agency responded back to me today as I have been asking for status on our LOA. Aghhhh those 3 darn letters! Here is their response:

"We did ask and the CCAA said "very soon we will get the LOA." Now, I would interpret that as "very soon!" I do hope we get another batch of LOA's before the end of this week. As soon as we get the LOA we will call you immediately. Others who were matched about the same time as you and whose dossiers were in line about the same amount of time when matched are waiting too."

So what does that mean? It means more waiting. All I do is wait and wait and wait.

Please keep praying. We are approaching Halainah's 1st birthday in a few days which is going to be a very hard day for Tony and I.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


I'll never forget the day of my baby shower for many reasons that I wrote in my post "All Showered And Ready To Go." But one of the best moments that touched my heart was when my dad came up to me and hugged me with tears in his eyes right after I opened all my gifts and said, "Whatever else that you need that you didn't receive, I will buy for Halainah. I will take you shopping and buy everything else and I don't care how much is left." So today was so exciting for me and sentimental because Halainah's Opa (German for Grandfather) took me out and bought the last two items which happened to be very big items and most important on my list of must haves. Halainah's Opa loves her so much he wants her to have the very best including about 15 pairs of warm PJ's and a snowsuit that he fell in love with and just had to buy for her. He bought her the new 2009 Britax Boulevard Cowmooflage Convertible Car Seat. Halainah will be cruising in style thanks to Opa.He also bought her the Limited Pliko P3 Classico Stroller in Paloma by Peg Perego. This is the BMW of strollers again because Opa wants the best for his grandaughter.

And if this wasn't enough for his grandaughter, he also bought her the Fisher Price Baby Gymnastics Bounce & Spin Zebra because he thought is was cute and Halainah would love it.
Halainah truly has no idea how much her Opa loves her. So thank you daddy for spoiling me and Halainah. You truly have no idea how thankful I am and how much I love you. Daddy, You have spoiled me since I was a little girl and I know how hard you had to work to make sure I had everything I wanted in life. We have gone through some really hard times in the past 5 years, the hardest being mom's death. But we have been there for each other and you made sure that we would both be okay. I love you more than you will ever know and you truly have touched my heart with your excitement and generosity towards Halainah.

"Thank you Opa for spoiling me just like you spoil my mommy. I have the coolest car seat ever and love my top of the line stroller and new bouncy zebra. I love you Opa."


Sunday, November 9, 2008


Halainah has a crib fit for a princess. Her Grandma and Grandpa love her so much all the way to heaven and back that they wanted Halainah to have the sweetest dreams in a very special crib. This was Halainah's special gift from her Grandparents. Her Grandma sacrificed without so that she could save enough money to help buy Halainah this special crib. Grandma and Grandpa also bought her the top of the line mattress, we are talking memory foam. Grandma and Grandpa want the best for their granddaughter. This is something Grandma wanted to do since we finally were matched with our miracle daughter. Grandma is also our guiding light throughout Halainah's journey. She supported us and cheered us on since the day we decided to find our daughter. And when we thought that we couldn't go on any longer because the wait was so long. She reminded us how powerful God is and encouraged us to keep praying. She prayed countless prayers, lit numerous candles and said many rosaries for Halainah's arrival and health. God answered our prayers indeed. In fact, she prayed this year that the only thing she wanted for her birthday was for Halainah to be joined with our family. And guess what? God answered our prayers 1 day after her birthday. Halainah's lifebook is full of chilling stories that truly reflect God's power of prayer.

"Thank you so much Grandma and Grandpa. I can't wait to finally come home and sleep forever and ever in my new heavenly crib and finally be home with my Mommy and Daddy. I love you Grandma and Grandpa and can't wait to meet you."
- Halainah

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep:
May God guard me through the night
And wake me with the morning light.
-- Traditional

Friday, November 7, 2008


I have held this poem close to my heart since the day Tony and I decided to find our daughter half way around the world. It still brings tears to my eyes and shivers up my spine as it is a true reflection on the reality of my life and vast love for Halainah Grace.

Dear Sweet Daughter:

As a girl I had a common dream, to be a mom someday. My baby would have eyes of blue and hair the hue of hay.

But now my dreams have been transformed. New visions fill my head. Now the tresses that I long to stroke are raven black instead.

And in my dreams those eyes are not so big or blue or round. Now in my dreams they’re almond shaped and colored cocoa brown.

And in my dreams my arms can stretch across enormous seas. They reach half-way around the world and hold you close to me.

As you grow in your mother’s womb, carefully knit together, you’re also growing in my heart, where you will stay forever.

And in my dreams the moment that your mother says good-bye, I’ll be right there to comfort you and hold you as you cry.

Our features may not look alike: we’re different as can be. But still I know the Father has created you for me.

And though I’ve not yet seen your face, or hold your tiny hands, and though we’re half a world apart in very different lands,

I’ll be right there to get you just as soon as God allows. But ‘til He says the time is right I give to you this vow.

I’ll pray for your protection every day on bended knee. For God to hold you in His arms, until you’re here with me.

Written by: Gayle Leubecker

Thursday, November 6, 2008


Exactly 1 year ago, we completed a huge milestone with Halainah's adoption. Our Dossier (paperwork) was finally completed after 6 months of filling out forms, notarizing forms, obtaining state certifications and authentications, going to doctors appointments, fingerprints, police clearance, I could go on forever. Wow was that exhausting! But what a remarkable feeling once it was finally complete. My cousins, Billy and Alyssa stayed up late that evening with us to help us organize and review our forms, thank goodness for their help. Tony and I were walking zombies by that point. We wanted to make sure there was absolutely zero errors. The very next morning I sent our documents to our agency and a few days later we received their approval. I remember that day like it was yesterday. We finally had a clear vision of our dream, our daughter Halainah. The wait time was unknown but we knew it was going to take years. Yes, it was a happy day the day our paperwork was finally sent in. But in the silence of late evenings I found myself crying over the fact that I may not be a mommy for several more years. Well here we are today, 1 year later and we have the most beautiful daughter I have ever seen, praise God. Halainah is my life and my world and I cannot wait to finally hold her in my arms and tell her how much she is loved and how long we waited to kiss her sweet lips. Below is a poem that I have held close to my heart. Halainah's adoption has been god's plan all along. She was written in my book by God. She was my daughter long before I saw her beautiful picture. I know in my heart that this journey will happen in His time, it is His plan. And we are to follow God's plan and not question it.

A child sat on Jesus' lap in the splendor of heaven.
The child asked, "Is it time?"

Jesus parted the clouds, looked and said,
"No, not yet child."
The child asked "When will it be time?"

Jesus replied, "When lessons are learned,
hardships endured, and loneliness lived, then it will be time."
Time passed. The child asked, "Is it time?"

Jesus parted the clouds, looked and said,
"No, not yet child."
The child asked, "When will it be time?"

Jesus replied, "When maturity is reached,
self-worth affirmed and spirits strengthened, then it will be time."
Time passed. The child asked, "Is it time?"
Jesus parted the clouds, looked and said,
"Their love is strong and their hearts are open.
Yes, now it is time-
Your parents are ready."
~author unknown

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


How can you thank someone enough and reveal your true emotions for all they do? Thanks seems like such a small word to cover that 'I'll never forget all you do for me' feeling. Aunt Bonnie and Uncle Mario have been my solid support system since my mother's passing. I am talking going WAY out of their way to make sure that Tony and I are happy, secure and that all of our dreams come true. That includes making sure Halainah Grace became a reality. Every Tuesday we have family dinner night and believe me when I say we hardly skip a Tuesday. I owe Uncle Mario a bazillion dollars for all he has done in our home, a new fireplace, a new patio, a new chimney, laundry issues, plumbing issues, electrical issues and even changed a few light bulbs since we can't even do that ourselves. We will never ever forget your generosity for Halainah and you know exactly what I am talking about. There is not one person that I know in this world that would have done what you did for us. And for that we are eternally grateful. Halainah is eternally grateful that she has the most loving and supportive godparents in the world. So where would we be without you, Aunt Bonnie and Uncle Mario? Certainly not on our way to bring home our most treasured daughter. Thank you for all that you have done for us, thank you for your support, praise and love. Thank you for making our dreams come true. We love you very much.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


We hold on to hope found in photos,
We long to touch her sweet face.

We eat and sleep and breathe worlds apart,
Yet there is a bond . . . a bond created by God.

She is ours and we are hers,
And in time the wait will be over.

We will eat and sleep and breathe together,
We will love and laugh and grow together.

And the bond that held us over the seas,
Will grow daily . . .

When the “wait” is over.
~ Tina Winder


On October 25, 2008 my wonderful family threw me the best shower I could have ever dreamed of. Thank you so much Aunt Bonnie, Aunt Deb, Alyssa, Billy and Jenine for making my day so special. And thank you to everyone else in the family who cooked and baked and came to support us. Thank you is not enough. I have dreamed of my baby shower for 10 years and it finally became a reality. I cannot even describe the feeling of wanting a child, dreaming of a child, and praying for a child for so long and finally to be so close to your dream. It is as though we have been sailing on an ocean in a ship that was about to sink for 10 years and finally reaching shore. As you can see from the picture Halainah Grace has everything that she could possibly imagine. Now all we need is for her to come home. Everyone was entirely generous to us, and even family and friends that could not attend my shower sent gifts and well wishes. I am in awe of the generosity. Thank you to all of my friends and family that shared this special day with me. Honestly, it meant the world to Tony and I. Your never ending support and pure joy and happiness for us left us speechless. All of this for me and my daughter? What have I done to deserve such an amazing family?

Monday, November 3, 2008


Since my blog should have been up and running a long time ago, I am a little behind on posting. So here is the e-mail I sent to all of our family and friends on August 15, 2008.

It is with great joy and gratitude in our hearts that we introduce you to our first daughter, Halainah Grace. This is the most awesome news of our lives. God is awesome...God is great.

Her Chinese name is: Rao Qinyang
DOB: November 16, 2007...she is nine months old.

We are also so very pleased that she is in a foster home for the Social Welfare Institute of Xinzhou District of Shangrao City in Jiangxi Province. It's very unusual that these little girls are in foster homes, they are usually in an orphanage. There are so many benefits of being in a foster home so we are very lucky.

Qinyang is said to have a restless personality, has a ready smile and loves music and playing games.

She has a tiny hole in her heart that most likely will close on it's own.

We had her medical records reviewed by a specialist and her exact words were, "She's considered special needs, that is a joke. If they consider her special needs because of her minor heart condition than you hit the jackpot." We were so thrilled and relieved to hear her say those words.

Please keep all of us in your prayers, for Halainah's health and that her grieving of her foster family is minimal. It's so heartbreaking that the day in which we go get our daughter will be the most amazing day of our lives, but will be so sad for Qinyang and her foster mom. Please pray for us that we get our travel approval soon. We are most likely looking at November or December. I would like to be with her for her 1st birthday but we may be traveling for Christmas.

Tony and I celebrated our 10 year anniversary on August 8th and we received the call only a few days later. I was in the A&P. I ran home and opened up her picture and I knew just by looking at her that she was my daughter....that she was Halainah. What a miraculous anniversary present. I think my Mom has some good connections in heaven. And my mother-in-law has a direct line to God. Thank you God for our Miracle!


Well for the last 2 weeks I have been super depressed waiting for our LOA. We have been waiting 81 days now for our Letter of Approval from China. This has not been an easy wait by any means. I know who my daughter is, I look at her beautiful pictures every morning and every evening telling her how much her daddy and mommy loves her. And I promise her that I will come get her soon to bring her home to her forever family. Yet I am completely helpless waiting for China to give us permission to come and get her. I want her now and I don't want to wait any longer. So last night I had a dream that my husband and I and my aunt Bonnie were climbing up a very long flight of spiral stairs to the top of a building, climbing and climbing I felt as though we would never reach the top. Every time I looked up all I saw was more stairs winding all the way to heaven. My husband's phone rang but I couldn't hear him speaking as he was much further than I was. When I finally reached the top, my aunt and husband were already there in a huge room in front of a computer. They told me to quickly look and on the screen were 3 huge beautiful letters...LOA. We finally received it. Hmmmm either someone is trying to tell me something or I am so desperate at this point that I can't even escape those letters, not even in my sleep. Oh I will keep praying.

Sunday, November 2, 2008


On January 19th 2004, my entire world collapsed. That is the day that a part of me died as my mom left this world and entered into heaven. A year before she passed away she was diagnosed with a stage 4 cancerous brain tumor. She had the surgery which removed the tumor and as much of the surrounding area that they could remove with it. My mom recovered amazingly from the surgery and my family had our loving, caring, smiling, sparkling mom again. She went through chemotherapy and radiation with a smile on her face never revealing her fear of the unknown. It only took a few months for the tumor to return, slowly taking my mom away from us, slowly removing her smile, her memory, her life! A year long battle ended for her and there is not a minute or second that goes by that I don't miss her and think about her and cry for her. My mom's memory lives on in every one's lives she has touched. She truly is an angel and heaven is a better place with her there. God only takes the best. I love you mom and miss you more and more everyday. It does not get easier and never will. I will never forget you and can still hear your voice and see your smile. Until we see each other again, my heart is full of wonderful memories that I will share with Halainah Grace.

God saw you getting tired,
The cure was not to be
He wrapped you in His loving Arms,
And whispered "Come to Me"
You suffered much in silence,
Your spirit did not bend
You faced your pain with courage,
Until the very end
You tried so hard to stay with us
Your fight was not in vain
God took you to His loving Home
And freed you from your pain
A golden heart stopped beating,
Two working hands at rest
God broke our hearts to prove to us,



Why you ask? Why did we name our blog "Life After 18 Seconds?" Well we have had plenty of time to think while we are waiting for our precious daughter. It pains my heart and you will be absolutely amazed on how many orphans there are in this world. Precious little miracles of God that will never know the love of a mommy and daddy, the snuggles, the kisses, and the laughter of a family.

Statistically every 18 seconds a child is orphaned in this world. Can you imagine? On the 19th second is where our story begins. This is our adoption journey to a most precious gift from God, our daughter Halainah Grace. Welcome to our life....Life After 18 Seconds.


After many months and numerous requests from family and friends I have finally created our blog. I can't promise that this will be the best blog ever but I will try to make it as exciting as possible. This blog has been established to keep everyone in our lives in the loop with our miraculous adoption of Halainah Grace. And we want to share the most exciting journey of our lives while we travel to China. So here it is....our blog....Life After 18 Seconds.