Monday, December 27, 2010 Poetry Blender

Because most of you don't know what this means I put it in confetti to let you's a pretty BIG deal!!!
I 800 approval means that the USCIS has provisionally approved us to adopt Luisa {specifically} and bring her into the US!
~Now this approval is being cabled to the US embassy in Colombia. (usually takes about 2 weeks...)
~Once they receive it, they will contact our rep. in Colombia who will hand over some more paperwork that we already sent her.(usually takes about a week to process...)
~Then, they will issue an article 5 letter which states that we are allowed to go to Colombia and adopt our daughter.
~Then we will receive our travel dates.  We should be in Colombia by the end of next month!!!!
*I emailed 'them' on the 22nd of December as that was 3 weeks, the time they normally take to issue an approval, and they said they had just received our case that morning, and they had a few others in front of ours, but they would get to it "soon".  grrr.  We had sent it out the end of November, and they were just now getting to it?  But alas, that is how international adoption seems to work for us...SLOW!  So when Ryan got the mail today, the approval was given on the...22nd!  WOW!  What an awesome surprise!!!
So we are cautiously optimistic that things will go as planned...but we know ultimately God is in control and we will get there when He wants us there!!!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Every year we spend one night in a hotel a hotel to celebrate Christmas with our 'little' family.  This year we had contemplated not doing that to save money.  Adopting is expensive, and our kids have sacrificed many things happily in order to do this.  So when we said there would be no hotel this year they all agreed it was okay.  But Ryan and I found a hotel that didn't cost us an arm and a leg and they had one room they allowed us to stay in (most hotels won't do that, they want us to rent 2 rooms!)  So we decided not to break tradition, but we also decided not to tell the kids until we got there!   We never do stuff like that, so it was kinda tricky to get packed and load up all of the stuff we hauled along, but oh so worth it!  They were so surprised and so excited, it was so much fun. 

Okay, so I look sorta goofy in this picture, however, I want to remember this moment forever.  They were so excited they picked me up off the ground!  Love those kids!

Anaya is THE MOST  UN-photogenic little person. EVER.  She CAN.NOT.LOOK at the camera. EVER!  Drives me NUTS!  Thank goodness for digital photos, I tried a few times and gave up.  Can you imagine my frustration if I were still using film!!!!
Happy Birthday Jesus!
The hotel even had a water slide!  Do you see the next picture of me?  I actually went into the pool with my kids, and yes I did the water slide too!  We had the place to ourselves, it was great!
Dylan went out and bought gifts for everyone with his own money!  Let me tell you, it warmed my heart to see him search for the perfect gift for each of his siblings and then the joy on his face when they opened their was a gift for me just to watch!
After our party at the hotel we headed to my parents house.  Ryan, my dad, Jayden and Dylan went hunting and Jayden was able to shoot his first squirrel, and a partridge!  I wonder if it was in a pear tree?
We all headed over to my grandma's nursing home and caroled!  None of us can 'really sing' but we made a joyful noise unto the Lord and my grandma loved it!  It was really fun.  We are too big of a group to fit in her room so we stood outside her window!  You can't see everyone in the picture, but all 18 of us were there!
After a huge breakfast and the reading of the Christmas story, we opened our gifts and made pea soup, and did a puzzle.  Steph and I took up crocheting and decided we would rather watch the puzzle come together than actually do it, so no credit to us there!  But I was able to make this fun little hat! 

We then headed over to the Vander Zwaag's and ate some more, and celebrated with them as well.  We had lots of fun getting together with those we love, and we know we are blessed to be able to do so.

I was really struck this year on the generosity of God.  That he sent his son to us, to die on a cross for our awful sins and that we are invited to walk with Him on a daily basis.  His love is so amazing!   We have been blessed by the generosity of so many of you this year and it is truly overwhelming to think about all we have been given by our heavenly father!  We hope and pray that you too were able to ponder the amazing gift we have been given in Jesus, and find that God is the most lavish gift giver of all!  Praise Him!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Happy 2nd Birthday Luisa!!!

Oh sweet girl, I wish you knew how much we love you and want to be there for your big day!  We pray that you have a great day and that you are surrounded by people who love you.  We are also praying that God would ready your heart for us to come and rock your world.  I am so sorry for all you have been through, and we pray that God would do what only he can do and heal you, heart, mind and body.  We are coming baby girl, and when we do, we will party together.  We have gifts, I will make you a cake, we will do balloons and we will have our very first celebration as a family of 8!!  We can't wait to meet you and pray that time will come quickly!

 Here are the gifts I made and sent down for her birthday!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Oh the disparity of life...

So, here is a snapshot of our life right now...

In about a month or so I am going to spend about 6 or so weeks in Colombia and I have NO IDEA:
~When I will be leaving
~Where I will be staying
~Where/what I will be eating
~Who/when/if my children will be with me, or not
~How we will pay for it
~When I will be returning
~What we will be driving when I bring Lucy home (our current van is maxed out!)
~Where we will be living once we get back


I DO know exactly where, when and what we will be eating, staying, and doing in June when we go to Disney with Ryan's family! (a gift from Ryan's parents that will be much appreciated after our next few months!){and Thank You sister in law Sarah! :) for all of your planning!}

Good thing we walk by faith and not by sight ~ 2 Cor. 5:7

Ryan is reading Choosing to See by Mary Beth Chapman as I am writing this post and he came across a great little quote:
"A person who lives in faith must proceed on incomplete evidence, trusting in advance what will only make sense in reverse."~Phillip Yancy  Amen to that!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Christmas tree hunting...

 Here we are in front of "the perfect tree!"
We had "big D"(doing respite care for a friends foster son) with us in all our tree pictures so I had to hide his cute little face!  Bummer, cuz he is ADORABLE!
 After a great breakfast at The Trestle Stop with Ryan's side of the family, we all went out in search of the perfect tree.
 Here is Jayden cutting down our tree.
 This is Easton standing in front of what he thought was the perfect tree, he was a bit miffed that we didn't get his tree.  That tree was HUGE, and he couldn't understand why we had to get such a "small one"!
 Dylan being the muscle man taking our tree to the wagon.
 The look on her face cracks me up!  She spotted Santa, and was not too sure about him.  She did warm up to him a bit once he gave her a candy cane.
All the VZ cousins!
 Easton being hoisted up to put the star on our "small tree"
The finished product!

Sunday, December 5, 2010


December is a big birthday month for us.  Ryan and Jayden share December 2nd and Spencer is a mere 3 days later on the 5th! {And now we will add Luisa's which is coming up on the 18th!}  We get a little sick of birthday cake by the end of the week!

Spencer got his long awaited first bb gun, which all VZ boys receive on their 8th birthday.  And Jayden got his .22 which all VZ boys receive on their 10th birthday from us and Grampa and Grama VZ!  Big stuff this year for the big boys in our house!

I was relieved when Jayden asked for a family only party and that he really wanted to decorate his own cake!  We had a great time watching him decorate his cake, a hunter at the Todd Farm shooting geese!  Wow, I never would have gotten that right, so very glad he wanted to do it himself! (he had the chills so he has his winter jacket on!)
Spencer decided he wanted to decorate his cake too, however I can't locate my camera at this moment to show you his cake, but it was pretty cool!  He decorated it to look like the Colombian flag!
Celebrating birthdays at the movies in our 3D glasses!
The Birthday boys!  We didn't have enough candles so Ryan decided to use matches!  Not a great idea, but it worked, I guess...Look at that masterpiece!

  They are both excited to use their new 'snow stuff' now that the snow is finally flying!!
Happy Birthday Ryan, Jayden, and Spencer!
I love you guys!