Beginning To Prepare

August 31, 2009

Sarah,  Up Close 2Border
You know, after almost 3 and a half years of waiting. You would think we would be more than ready or prepared to bring a new little one home. When we started this process back in Dec 2005, it was all I could think about. It was on my mind 24/7, I was consumed with figuring out when it was going to happen.

As we were paperchasing, things started to really slow down in China and I was clinging to every bit of information that I could get my hands on. I was addicted to yahoo groups and RQ(a site where the latest China Adoption rumors are posted almost daily).

A couple months after we were logged in, around summer of 2006, I realized that things were not going to get better. Pat and I both decided it was time to stop letting the adoption run our lives and begin living for the here and now, which is exactly what we did. We let ourselves plan vacations, we even decided that summer that we were going to move and began plans to build the house we now live in.

Even though I knew it was something that was going to take a lot longer than we anticipated, I often picked up little "baby items" while shopping and would stash them in our spare closet for the day our dream came true.

With every passing month, things got worse and worse on the adoption front......things were moving so slowly in China, it felt like time was standing still.

During fall of 2006, I was really starting to doubt the program and really wondered if we would ever make it to China. Our Log In Date seemed so far away. I have to admit, I looked at a couple other programs that had popped up with our agency, and wondered if maybe we had made a mistake in choosing China. Each time I did this and presented Pat with the info, he would say, "No, I think we are just where we need to be. It might take longer than we anticipated, but it will happen. Our daughter is in China. We were drawn to that country for a reason, let's not second guess ourselves" So that is exactly what we did, we stayed put!!

My sister gave birth to a beautiful baby boy that fall, he was and is, a gorgeous little boy. I was so excited for her, but at the same time a little piece of my heart was crushed because I thought we would have had some news from China by then, and how much fun would it have been to have the cousins growing up together!!

A couple weeks went by, and then we got a very SHOCKING phone call, that turned our lives literally upside down. It was only about three weeks after we got that call, that Sarah was placed in our arms for the first time. She was a day old and we were head over heals in love with her. There was no looking back.......we knew we had made the right choice and that someday we would go to China to bring home our China baby, but for now, it was time to focus on Nicolas, and this new little bundle of joy who needed our love and support.

Sitting against the wall2Border
Well, here we are approaching Sarah's 3rd Birthday and we are still waiting on our China Dream. I think that subconciously, I have kind of been in denial that it was even going to happen for us and these last few months, I am realizing that we are really starting to get close. At the current rate of the program, I am thinking we will see her face in spring of 2010, maybe summer at latest.

So, with all this being said, I think it is time we really start preparing for this baby. I have not let myself do the things that waiting parents usually do, like decide on a name, decorate a nursery, etc, etc. But the first thing on my list, is to really start to prepare a certain little girl that she is no longer going to be the baby of this family.......

Bubblicious (29 of 37)-Editwm
Call me crazy, and maybe a tad skeptical, but we have never really talked to Sarah about becoming a "BIG SISTER" for fear that we would be lying to her.

We broke the news to her about two weeks ago and it went fairly well, although I am not too sure what is really going through that little head of hers. She has come out with some really funny stuff......and it comes out at the most bizarre times!! I will share some of what she has been saying another day, I have already "talked too much" for one post!!

More on this later.......In addition to preparing Sarah, we have also started to play the name game!! It has been a long time since we have done this......almost three years to be exact!!


Shell in your Pocket said...

I am sure she will be a wonderful BIG is also good for them!

I am so happy this is finally starting to move....How wonderful!

sandy toe

Kerry said...

What a rollercoaster ride you have had. I am so glad that you are allowing yourself to nest for your little one. You have endured the wait with patience and grace. And now it is your time to be excited. I so look forward to sharing in your journey and your referral. We will be celebrating your joy- your miracle.

Kerry said...

You probably have lots of children's books for preping Sarah. Let me know if you need some more book titles. Our service plans (twice now) have focused on this. I am happy to send you a list.

Sandra said...

I am sure things will turn out just fine, but I understand your feelings.

Gorgeous pictures of your girl, too ;-)

Jboo said...

I hardly mentioned our plans until we had referral -- which was about 14-15 months after LID at that time, so I can really understand your not mentioning it since it has taken so long. Keeping hoping there will be a speed-up for all of you waiting.

She's going to be a great big sister! Have a fun week!


Love Letters To China said...

Your story is very much like ours when we were waiting for our little one from China. Our LID was August 11, 2006. The wait was excruciating. My first born was only 2 1/2 when we started paper chasing. When we finally decided to switch to the SN program in 2008 and was matched with our sweet little boy, we finally told our oldest (5 at the time) she would be a "big sister" in a few short months. Luckily she took the news well. We still struggle with the age difference but I know in time my two little ones will become close friends.

Enjoy the time you have with your first two... the time will go quickly and soon you'll have your third in hand.

p.s. Your photos are amazing!

Lilly said...

Hi Lisa,

Be surprise, very surprise that it might be a boy! I was 99% that my second one was a girl and surprise, it will be a boy, all boy! But it's a great surprise and I won't change it for anything in this word!

Have fun with the decorating, names and preparing Sarah for it!

Gail said...

I completely understand you waiting to tell Sarah until's so hard for little ones to understand this and especially to's hard enough for us to wait! You are getting to the final stretch the fun stuff begins!!!!

Can't wait to hear on the name you choose. :)

big hugs to you friend...

And Sarah will be an amazing big sister...she'll show her mei mei the ropes I'm sure.(adorable pics btw)

Lisa said...

Oh Lisa, I'm so excited for you guys! You have SO much to look forward to!! Sarah is going to be a wonderful big sister. It is soooooo smart to start talking to her about it now. We did the same thing with Rudy. Are you planning on taking her with you?

When we brought Ellie home Rudy was 3 years and 5 months old. We did not take him. Truthfully, it was pretty rough on him for a little while, it was hard for him to share his momma, but I think that is common with most children. He got over it and now they are great friends and I can't imagine my life without her. I'm so excited for you guys! Now the fun will begin...decorating, picking out names, etc.! YIPPEE!!! : )

jenbusymom said...

Hi Lisa,

How exciting this must be for you that you very soon will have another little girl to love and spoil! Sarah will make a great sister and the age difference will work out just great too! I'm sure she'll start to get excited more and more as the time gets closer!


Kim said...

Sarah will be a WONDERFUL Big sister..
getting her involved is the best way..
Have a great week..

Kayce said...

Sarah will be such a great big sister! I can just see the hours of fun the two of them will have playing and becoming best friends. Enjoy this time as you begin to prepare. It's such a great feeling once you get going!

t~ said...

Your dream will come true & you will bring her home to 2 fabulous kids!

a Tonggu Momma said...

If our social worker hadn't involved the Tongginator in our updated homestudies, we definitely would NOT have told her until we were just a couple of months shy of referral. Time to prepare is good. Time to avoid the topic is also wise.

Chasing Dreams Photography said...

I know it's been a long wait Lisa. I think you were very wise to wait to prepare Miss Sarah..she will be a wonderful big sister.
Can't wait to hear the names...I'm sure they have changed since the last time we spoke about names...I'm thinking Colleen may sound good : P

day by day said...

Hey Lisa!

Oh, you ARE getting close, my friend!! I know you have waited way too long and I am sure you had to guard your heart....but it is indeed getting close. Have fun as you prepare for your newest blessing!!!


Anonymous said...

Amazing how life does give unexpected surprises! Your Sarah is so lovely, Lisa, and you take the best picts~!

Can't wait to see the big sister-little sister photos :)! And I know I will! This wait will one day melt away!

Patricia said...

Sara is going to be a FABULOUS big sister!! And for what it's worth, I think you were very smart in waiting to say anything until now. What an exciting time for you all right now! Praying the time is very near for your family!!

And let me tell ya...those photos you posted today are EXTRAORDINARY!!!

Missy said...

It's all SO exciting! I cannot believe that your time is drawing near! She will be one very blessed little baby girl to come into your wonderful family!
LOVE the pics (especially with the border around them!)
Can't go to NYC :( Looks like I won't have the funds. We are going to Disney for Spring Break and I did some number crunching and I just can't do it. You girls will take Manhattan by storm! Look out NYC!

Jodee said...

I am soooo excited that your wait is getting shorter and shorter! You and Pat have done a great job counting your blessings along the way! Sarah is going to love having another girl in the family, and she will be a fabulous Big Sister!

Hope you have a great week!

Strobist Girl said...

Hey :D
This was such a wonderful post~ I can't wait til it is finally over and your family is complete.
Talk later tonight~

Anonymous said...


While I was reading this post all I could think of is how thankful I am that I have my little sister (my brother as well but wow that bond of sisterhood is special). I can not for the life of me remember my parents preparing me for her arrival, though I am sure they did. The preparing did not make an impression but seeing her for the first time did!



carolinagirl said...

Oh I am just so excited for y'all! I know that you cannot wait for your precious China doll, and I know that your hearts are prepared and ready! Everything else will fall into place - at least that's the faith I'm going on here! :) Sarah is such a cutie, and I love the photos of her in front of the brick!

Becky said...

What a great post Lisa. I can't wait to see Sarah as a big sister -- I am sure she will be fine. I have to disagree with Colleen though -- I am thinking Becky sounds like a better name than Colleen......;-)

Shari said...

I am so excited for your family. You have had a wonderful 3 years and life is just going to get better.
A friend of mine got a surprise call from her adoption agency today, their youngest daughter just turned 1 - the agency wanted to know if they would be interested in adopting a sibling...they thought their family was complete - have a garage sale planned to sell all the baby things - she doesn't know how they can pay for another adoption, but at the same time doesn't know how they could possibly not adopt their daughter's sibling. They don't know yet when baby will be born - or what the agency fees will be, but God sure does work in mysterious ways...

Anonymous said...

PS. As for the name game~ what about Krista. It is lovely even thought everyone trys to spell it CHrista

Jennifer said...

Sarah will be a fabulous sister! I love to hear what they have to say... How exciting! Can't wait to hear more!

Aspiemom said...

We waited 5 years on the list to adopt Ryan - and he was American born. I know how hard that waiting and rollercoaster of emotions is!

Sherri said...

Good for you guys that you are finally getting closer to China. I can't imagine having to wait as long as families are now. We were LID 13 months and I thought that was cruel.

This is going to be an exciting time for your family. I bet you will have lots of laughs with the kids as you prepare them. I know we did with Mark.

Wanda said...

Oh, don't stop - talk to us some more.

Wow, you are getting close and I so know what you mean by guarding your heart for that little doubt that this really isn't going to happen. But I think your timing is right on. Time to start getting going. (I can't believe how I had to scramble at the end when I thought I was semi-ready but really had been protecting myself.)

If I may offer some advice (tell me to shut-up if not...'k?), I wouldn't hurry too much to tell Sarah more than you already have. I think we over did it for Dahlia, especially at the beginning, and it really wore thin that by referral she was numb to the whole idea of a little sister.

I am thrilled you have begun to dream. Enjoy it all.

Kim said...

It is great to hear the story of your road to China and now I understand why it had been so long. You have been so patient and luck at the same time that you have 2 gorgeous children. Can't wait to see what the future holds for you!

Michelle R Photography said...

Oh Lisa, I am so glad you are finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I know it is still a very long tunnel, but a sparkle of light... a glimmer of hope... nonetheless. These are just gorgeous pictures of Sarah. She is such a cutie!!

Casey said...

I am SO excited for your family... it has been such a long journey for you guys. I can't WAIT to follow along during this part of the ride!! It's such an exciting time.

Wow - this post just sums up how life is meant to happen the way it happens. For Sarah is the PERFECT age to become a big sister. They will be close enough in age to share so many things and play together. Sarah will be ready to become more independent in another year. She'll probably LOVE having a baby. Can't wait to watch that relationship grow!!


Keisha said...

Let Sarah be involved in EVERY detail of preparing for her little sister.. from, to clothes,. to room colors!! TRUST ME, the MORE involved she is.. the better!!! It was REALLY REALLY tough for our McKenna.. & we talked to her from the begining.. by the time she could TALK.. she knew she was going to be a big sister.. sometime.. :)..soon... & then the wait came... and STAYED! But, we still couldn't undo her feelings when we came home. If I had things to do over with.. I WOULD have TAKEN her and Broughton to China to experience the whole thing. I wonder if that would have helped her....?
But, GOD made a miracle happen in McKenna's little heart & things slowly .. got better. PRAISE THE LORD!!
I'm excited for you guys.. you are soo CLOSE!!!
Finally.. right?!! lol!

Dita said...

OK, now I'M getting EXCITED! I presume that was the green light for me to start my usual gushing right about now....A BABY!! A BABY!!

This is such a wonderful time for all of you. I'll bet Miss Sarah is going to surprise you and fall in love with HER new baby!

I am so looking forward to finally seeing this dream come true for you and Pat!

(Still gushing.........)

Briana's Mom said...

I think you have picked the perfect time to tell Sarah. Now she has time to get used the the idea, and she hasn't had to endure the past year wondering when she would be a big sister. She's gonna be a great "big sister." :)

Sharon said...

Lisa! How exciting. You have mucho discipline to have waited for names especially. Sarah is going to love being a big sister (75% of the time anyway)haha

Alyson and Ford said...

I am so happy for you, that it is getting closer and you are preparing for her. Tears came to my eyes just thinking of the joy in your family!
Congrats over and over...

Alyzabeth's Mommy for Eleven Months

Sue said...

Can't wait to watch your journey unfold. I love what your husband said that about staying put in the program. He sounds like a wise man. ; )
I know you have probably heard it a million times but what is getting ready to happen is worth every single agonizing second of the wait.
Enjoy "getting ready", you all deserve it after all these months ( years!) : )

Football and Fried Rice said...

I, for one, think you did an EXCELLENT job with Sarah's name :) You guys have seemed so "calm" during this wait - and I don't think it was "just" the surprise of Sarah..I think you have been very patient in waiting on God to build the perfect family for you! And HE WILL!!

Are the girls going to share a room? Do you already have a nursery? Have you ever shared pictures of Sarah's room?? Come on, Lisa - whatcha been doin????

Ivy Shaffer said...

Well you certainly have been busy during this wait! Watching Sarah grow, making the transition into pro photography, keeping me sane LOL and being such a good friend to soooooooo many.

There's no doubt Sarah will be a wonderful big sister, afterall. She's full of sweetness:))

I can't wait till you get your referral. It's sure has been a long haul but as they say will be way worth it. Seeing you with a baby in your arms will be so heartwarming. I am happy beyond words that you're getting close. Almost time to start working on that baby room!

Love the new photos!


3 Peanuts said...

Oh it is such an exciting time for you! I am glad that you are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. It is such a long road.

Unknown said...

How exciting to pick a name! I am SO excited for you. So very excited! : )