Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A SMALL WAY TO HELP!

I'm sure most of you have been reading or listening to the news about the Typhoon Ketsana that hit the Philippines over the weekend. Well, here's a way to help the people suffering from the aftermath. Click HERE to visit the blog of a Filipino woman named Cherie and read previous posts to get her story. I plan on donating something. You should, too!

Monday, September 28, 2009

(This is the exact post I posted on our congregation's blog, I am being lazy today, lol)

In May of 2007, Roger and Jackie Sherwood announced to the congregation that they were starting the process to adopt a little girl from China. Moving ahead 2 1/2 years later, on August 26th, 2009 Jackie and her mom travel to China and finally met Ciara Rae-MinWen Sherwood for the first time on August 31st. They arrived home on September 10th where Ciara then met her Papa, her big sister Leyna and her niece/sister Logan.

Ciara made her debut to the Warren congregation on Sunday morning, September 13th, and the following week was formally welcomed home with a potluck/shower that the congregation threw for her. Everyone has been waiting anxiously to meet her and the congregation has fallen just as easily in love with her as the rest of her family has. Now that she's here, Ciara has adjusted fabulously and is now running around with the rest of the pack! lol Here are some highlights from the party!

Ciara and her PapaCiara with her Pappap (Jackie's dad)Ciara with her Granny (Jackie's mom)Being silly!Jackie and Roger opening Ciara's gifts surrounded by all the excited children, lolOh, she likes this one!Some photos of Ciara's new church familyRoger and Jackie's granddaughter Logan getting in on some of the actionCiara and her Mama

"...children are a heritage from the Lord..."

Playing with her new friend Julianna while Randy looks on.One happy girl!Thank you, Father!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

DING, DING, DING! WE HAVE A WINNER!

Okay, the moment we've all been waiting for! Watch the video below of Ciara picking the winner of my FIRST EVER GIVEAWAY! Excuse the jammies, but since Mama is on a temporary vacation from working, hehehe, we don't get dressed around here at least until after noon, lol!

(Psst. Turn off the music at the bottom of the blog before you play the video.)

CONGRATULATIONS to our WINNER!!!



SO.....JACLYN is the winner of my giveaway!


And what is the prize you ask?

Wwweeellllll....the prize is: Four beautiful Chineses silk scrolls depicting the four seasons. My mom found these in a little store while we were in Guangzhou and I knew they were the perfect prize for my giveaway. I hope you enjoy them, Jaclyn!

Jaclyn and I have become good bloggy friends because both of our daughters are from the same SWI in China, Hefei in the province of Anhui. In fact, Ciara and Jemma are close to the same age, were in the same classroom and knew each other quite well. I say that in the past tense because obviously Ciara is home, but Jemma is still waiting for her mommy and daddy to come and get her. Not through any fault of Jaclyn and her husband, but that's how the process works. Believe me, they would be on the next flight over there to get their sweet little Jemma if they could :) I got to meet Jemma and took lots of pictures of her when we visited the orphanage a couple weeks ago, she's a doll!

I'd ask that you all pray that all red tape be cut as quickly as possible and that Jemma be home sooner than expected!! Jaclyn and her husband and kids live in Charlotte, NC which happens to be where my husband's mother, two sisters and their families and his brother and his family all live. We get down there about once a year and hopefully we will be visiting with Jaclyn's family during those times as well. Ciara and Jemma have so much up to this point in common and both families want and need to keep in touch.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

PAINTED PIGGIES AND ADJUSTING

Leyna was doing her nails today and of course the girls wanted theirs done, too, and since it was I'm sure Ciara's first foray into the world of polishing her tootsies, Logan had to show her how it was done and I had to document it with a photo.

After the salon session, Leyna took Logan to her swimming lessons at the YMCA, which Ciara would love to join in on but is still too young yet. While she waited for Logan to get back, Ciara watched a little TV, played with her new bear she got from the Mathenys, and then she decided to goof around with Mama by playing the 'ole hiding under the blanket routine, and of course I just happened to have my camera handy!

Check out those newly painted fingernails!!I'd say she's relaxed and adjusting quite well, lol!

Monday, September 21, 2009

WELCOME HOME, CIARA!

Our local congregation had a Welcome Home party for Ciara yesterday afternoon after morning worship. After a potluck lunch and a delicious cake, Roger and I sat and opened the generous gifts that the congregation presented us with. Besides a collection of money that will go into a savings account we have set up for Ciara, Ciara got lots of toys which of course she just loved. She also got a new outfit, but because she's so tiny (wearing 18 month clothes at 2 1/2, she will have to grow into it along with a few other things, lol.

Our congregation is small in numbers, but big in generosity and love for others, and my whole family is very thankful for each and every one of them. We love Christ's church and its people!

I'll post more pictures as they come in because, once again, I forgot my camera!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

HOME SWEET HOME

Have I mentioned lately how GOOD it is to be home? My mom told me this afternoon that the first few days we were back she kept waking up in the mornings thinking she was still in China after dreaming she was still there and couldn't understand anything anyone was saying and couldn't get home. She breathed a sigh of relief when she realized she was in her own home and in her own bed, lol.

Friday, September 18, 2009

SURFIN' WITH MAMA

While we were in China, I foolishly let Ciara "type" on my computer by opening up a blank Word document for her. Now every time I sit down at the computer she wants up on my lap to do more typing...dummy me. Well, I decided to put a stop to it, lol, and this was her solution to what she considered a major problem, lol.

Begging me to sit on my lap with her favorite morning cup of Fruit Loops, lol.Proud of her solution!Now, shall I check my email or Facebook?Mama and Ciara

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

WILL YOU ACCEPT THIS CHALLENGE?

I borrowed this poem from another mommy with our adoption agency that is waiting to get her daughter in China. It's our Ciara's story and every other orphan's story. It's a challenge my family accepted not through any goodness on our parts, but because a loving God called us to accept it, a loving God willed it to be so, and then a loving God who told us to wait then entrusted us with a precious little girl. Do you hear Him calling you? Are you finally ready to accept His challenge?

Every call has a beginning…
A quiet moment when God whispers a promise to a mother’s heart
A holy place where a father bows and faithfully accepts the journey set before him.

A miraculous morning that unexpectedly dawns…

Casting its first light on a chosen threshold.

A gentle knock…

A closed door opens.

A sacred invitation sent by the Father…

Leads to the other side of the world.
Where lonely hearts stare out orphanage windows
Praying for someone to care.

And then one morning…

On an ordinary day
An orphan’s life changes…
God sends them a second chance…

Through you.

* * * * *
And speaking of borrowing things, I also borrowed this photo from a fellow travel buddy's blog 'cause I knew she wouldn't mind.

This was our travel group while in China.

The babies from left to right are Shawna (18 months), Ciara (2 1/2), Heather (3 1/2), Harper (16 months), and Zadie (2 1/2)

I HAVEN'T FORGOTTEN

I haven't forgotten about my giveaway, lol, we're just having some sleep issues at the moment, like I'm not getting any!!!
I'll be compiling the list of names and Ciara will be drawing the winner as soon as I can stay awake at the computer long enough. Thanks for your patience!

Monday, September 14, 2009

CAGED IN

This is what four year olds take pictures of.

A favorite blanket...A soccer ball...One of your favorite TV shows...Your puppy...And a four years old's favorite person...herself!

And this is what happens when you leave two little girls alone together for too long, lolGOD IS GOOD!




Sunday, September 13, 2009

HOME SWEET HOME

We've been home since Thursday night and Ciara has completely taken over this house, lol. In just three days she has made it seem like she has always been here. She calls Roger Papa, something she came up with, nothing we prompted, and still calls every other man she meets Baba (which for those who don't know means Daddy in Chinese), so she has clearly decided to make a distinction between Papa and all the others. She has called me Mama since about the third day after meeting and has decided to call Leyna Mama occasionally also, which is completely understandable. I mean, really after all, I can see how she gets us confused, lol, we clearly look alike and, well, I do look just as young as Leyna does, lol, so I have just decided to let this little slight go. Logan and Ciara are just like sisters and in fact skipped all the sisterly love mush and just got right down to the wrestling and tattling and bickering.

And this child gets the whole ultimatum thing. You know, the one that says if you do this, this will happen. And up to this point, she's truly convinced I'll do whatever it is I said I would do, and I give all the credit for that to her Foster Mama, that lady must have really stuck to her guns, and I believe when she said something was going to happen, it happened, lol, because Ciara immediately stops what she's doing when faced with and told what the consequences will be. Thank you, Foster Mama!!

She's still messing with me about pretending she has to go to the bathroom to get out of doing things, like eating, going to bed, and just wanting to play with the water at the sink, lol, so I decided to let Roger in on some of that action. I'm half afraid to actually wait her out because the little stinker has a lot of control and can go to the bathroom at will, and I just know the one time I don't take her and she gets really mad, she'll make herself go. Oh, you gotta love that stubborn, relentless side in all of us, lol.

On the best side, though (and the one we see the most), she is a happy, loving, cuddly, super cute, giggly little girl that we have all just fallen completely in love with. I look at her and I think to myself that only two weeks ago her whole world was completely turned upsidedown, something that if done to an adult would be totally mentally debilitating, and here she is running into our arms and giving us kisses, saying hello to every new face she meets with that sweet little turned up upper lip she has, and just making herself at home in an environment completely foreign to her with people she has no obligation whatsoever to love. I've said it before, but our family will be forever grateful to THE ONE who made all of this possible and to THE ONE who has answered every single prayer we lifted up to Him.

Below are just some random pictures of our last couple days in China, a few that didn't come through on the posts I sent to my daughter, and then a few from our first few days at home.

At the Chen Family Museum in Guangzhou, two days before we left China.Walking back from the museum through the streets of Guangzhou.Just Ciara being cute.More cuteness!I just thought the chicken man was cool.This is my stereotypical thought whenever I think of ChinaAnyone for lizard on a stick? Yummy!Mom, seriously, I gotta take this call.Logan being a goof while her mother Leyna is otherwise occupied.I come all the way from China for my big sister Leyna to do this to my hair!Ciara basically poundin' the tar outta Logan and tickling her.