Monday, January 27, 2014

The Fonze

Well, not's just Johnny being ooohhh soooo cooool! 

This was for my photo assignment this week. With Josiah's help... and his patience...and his brain, I added some textures to the pic to give it an edgy feel.

I love this photo because this is my hubby's Grandfather's motorcycle...the Grandfather that Johnny is named after. 

How cool to have a pic by your Great-Grandfather's bike!!

In adoption news...two weeks from today is 
Fu Chao's Gotcha Day!!! 

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Little Feet

One of the things I've learned from my photography instructor is to take pictures of OTHER things...not always the face. I see pictures like this all the time, but, like other Moms, I love pictures of my children's faces...but oh, those chubby little feet...

I guess I did get a face in there after all! 

That's our Boston Terrier who has loved having Johnny and Lily Anna to cuddle with. It will be interesting seeing Fu Chao and Lulu interact with Pucca. In Lulu's file it states that she loves small dogs! I can't wait to see her face when she lays eyes on her new pet.

I am counting down the days! ('s 13 days). 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Packed Already!

Yeah, I just couldn't stand it any longer, so I packed my bags. And there the suitcase sits. 

I will have all my paperwork items photocopied for the 50th time and it will be done by Saturday. Then on Saturday I will complete everything I need for our post-placement visits for all four kiddos (all conveniently adopted in the same month). So that will be it! I will have two weeks to twiddle my thumbs!

Or take more photos of the cutest girl in the world. ;)

Perhaps I will post something meaningful in the near future and try very hard not to be sarcastic, on all the joys of the rules and regulations of adoption...for instance, agencies wanting 8 photos of both parents with the adopted child while they are in China...when one of the parents isn't traveling. Am I let off the hook? Nope. I still have to have at least 3. I somehow have to take pictures of me, Fu Chao, Lulu, AND my hubby when he won't physically be with me. Do you know how sarcastic I am? Yep, they're going to get photos of us skyping with least 3 times.  ;)  

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Dramatic Enough For You?

Last week our photography assignment was "Dramatic." Totally outside of my comfort zone, but I had a willing participant!                                                                          

Brianna looks beautiful!! 

It was hard to keep her serious like this though. She kept giggling and the more I told her to look serious the more she laughed. After a few minutes she was done and ran off with her friends. I really am praying Fu Chao and Lulu like to have their pictures taken because I'm running out of models fast!!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Lessons From Big Sister

Brianna has been taking guitar lessons for a while and Johnny and Lily Anna are given permission from their big sister (from time to time) to watch her practice. 

This time though, Brianna gave them both their own personal lesson (free of charge)!

Of course, Lily Anna took her lesson in her underwear. Gotta be comfortable, I guess!

I love how Lily Anna is looking and listening so intently to Brianna's instructions!

Johnny's turn.

Oh, in case anyone thinks I forgot...I have 18 days until I fly to China! Yes, it's always on my radar...always. ;)

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Lily's 6th Birthday!!

It was a week ago, but I've been busy!!! 

After my agency rep dropped the ball, I just couldn't take staying in the frozen tundra I'm living in waiting for my China trip to roll around, so hubby and I went to Florida!! So Lily Anna had her birthday and the next day I flew to 80 degree weather. It was just what I needed. And now I only have 2 1/2 weeks to go until I fly to the other side of the world!

I absolutely love this pic of Lily and Brianna! These two have bonded in a way that I had always prayed and hoped for. It probably helps that Lily thinks she's a teenager too!

 Of course, it HAD to be a princess cake!

 Flavored lip gloss...yum! (Sarcasm).

Blurry, but this was her favorite part...not the gifts, just throwing the tissue in the air and then burying the dog under it.

So 2 1/2 weeks until I fly and exactly 3 weeks from tomorrow is my Gotcha Day with Fu Chao!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Flights Are Booked

Well, most of them. My agency is dragging their feet on purchasing the in-country flights and I don't know why. 

In the meantime, I'm in another photography class. There are new things to learn, but I feel like I need to really work on some of the things I should have picked up on months ago. 

I have a REALLY hard time nailing focus. I have had wonderful thoughts of taking a hammer to my camera or chucking it out my back door into the blue yonder. 

When you have your camera set to auto-mode you can tell people that you have a great camera, love it. But when it's on manual and some focal points are stronger than others and half your Christmas pics are junk because of start to wonder, is it the camera or ME??

My gut is telling me that it might not be the camera's fault. 


So here is a picture of one of the photos that I could salvage. 

I ran a vintage edit over it.

Yep, there's a hair hanging down in her face, but I'm not savvy enough yet to clone that out. My focus was on her eyes, so everything else being blurry is intentional. 

I will get there! 

I just want to make sure my photos are perfect while in China! 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The Only Good Thing About Winter

Are pictures like this. 

Little girls in their underwear watching the snow fall...doesn't get any cuter! ;)

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Fu Chao's Birthday Pics!!!

God knows how to make me smile. On Friday, the day I was supposed to be flying to China, God made it all up to me - with 29 pictures of Fu Chao!!! 


I could not believe it. 

Am I going to post all 29? Of course I am! The reason why I'm posting all 29 is mainly because adoptive parents sometimes spot their current child they are adopting or their heart may be drawn to a particular child and they end up pursuing that child for adoption.

So here's my boy!! 

Yes, I know these ones are side-ways. Fu Chao is the one with the know, the one who is not smiling.

Doesn't he look thrilled to have a party thrown for him? Any Luoyang Moms or Dads recognize this building?? I'm wondering if it's near the SWI. It looks like an apartment to me. Because this is taken before the party, I'm wondering if these are foster brothers as well?? And maybe this is outside of their apartment? I will take these pics on my trip and ask the nannies when I get there. All info I receive will help piece together a part of his life that I have no knowledge of. Johnny has completely deleted most of his former life from his memory, so I want to find this stuff out now for Fu Chao, in case he ever forgets...or chooses to like Johnny has.

The party. 

Fu Chao is way in the back. This pic cracks me up because that's the exact face he made two years ago in Johnny's cake pictures.

My heart melted when I saw this. Most likely that is his foster Mom. He has been in her care for over 4 years. I cannot imagine the pain Fu Chao will go through saying good-bye to her, and I cannot imagine 
her pain...breaks my heart. I am so thankful and grateful for the love and care she has provided him.

Look at that smile!!!

I have an almost identical picture of Lily Anna with her foster Mother cutting the cake together exactly like this.

Be still my heart!!! Feeding his Foster Mama some cake!!!

Just precious! 

Does anyone recognize this little one in yellow? 

See the boy in blue? He is supposedly the same age as Fu Chao, and probably Johnny's size. Johnny was soooo tiny when we brought him home 2 years ago, but he has caught up to most of his peers. It's weird to say that Johnny is going to tower over Fu Chao!


If any of you recognize your little ones, please email me!

I'm glad Fu Chao had a wonderful birthday!!!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Travel Approval And Some Tears

I have had travel approval for 4 days now and am just now getting around to posting about it, not because of the holidays or because I've been busy booking tickets, but because I did not WANT to write about it. I will spare the details, but I could have left in, I had a consulate appointment, I had Gotcha dates...everything. My agency rep had asked if a date would work and my hubby and I checked the prices. It gave me one week until I flew I pulled everything together, flights, costs, everything, and then I called my agency rep back.


I left a message.


So I figured it was done and perhaps my TA hadn't arrived or something.

So I sat over the weekend kind of bummed that it almost came together really quick for me, but oh well.

Then Sun night I got an email at 11:00 at night that said it was all set. Everything was set. 


I emailed him back and told him I hadn't heard from him since Thur night, he never replied to my phone calls or message I left and by that time it was too can't book flights on an assumption!!!  I tried to pull it back together on Monday, but it could not be done. The prices had skyrocketed over the weekend and my visa was being processed for travel and would be cutting it too close to pull it off. 

Monday morning a different agency rep called and said, "Guess what, Lisa? Your TAs have arrived!" I choked back tears and explained what happened over the weekend. Silence on the other end. She was speechless and didn't know what to say.

Providence? Yeah, fine. But I get irritated when someone who drops the ball chalks it up to providence so they can get off the hook.  Yes, God knew ahead of time that my rep would not do his job, would drop the ball, whatever you want to call it. To blow it at the tail end of someone's adoption is beyond inexcusable. It tacked on an extra 5 weeks to my journey. Most likely Fu Chao was told that I would be there on Monday. My heart was broken. 

I am doing better now. My new flights are booked, my new consulate appointment is set, and I have new Gotcha dates. 

So my NEW schedule is as follows:

Depart from Minneapolis on Feb 7
Gotcha for Fu Chao on Feb 10
Gotcha for Lulu on Feb 17
Consulate Appointment Feb 25
Depart for home on Feb 26

The cool thing is I will be able to celebrate Lily's 6th birthday here, and Johnny's 2 year Gotcha it all works out!! (I try to see the positive in everything).

Even though sometimes we get dealt a rough deal in life, God always has something up his sleeve. And I'm not one for pouting, complaining, or camping on a rotten attitude. I'm just thankful I'm on this journey...and that this journey will find me in Southern China in 70+ degree weather in Feb!!! ;)