Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving Blessing!

Got a pleasant surprise this morning... our update on Reese (that was supposed to take weeks to get) was emailed to us today!  We got our questions answered (very general, of course) and got 4 pictures.  It's so nice to see her cute smile!  The bummer part is that the 4 pictures are all obviously taken one right after the other.  If you scroll through them quickly it's like a little movie!  She is the most animated I have ever seen a child in an orphanage be, which makes me feel like she is a happy and possibly ornery little thing!  She weighs about 20 pounds, which is less than what I was figuring!  It looks like they have shaved her head at some point and that just stinks because her hair in our first photos of her looked so nice and thick.  I guess we have a lifetime ahead of us for her to have beautiful hair like her sister, Reagan. 

We are getting ready to go to drop the girls off at my parents so Tim and I can celebrate my birthday on a date!  That's something that has not happened for quite some time!  I was super sick with the stomach flu on Saturday and Sunday, so I feel like I am so behind with everything, it's overwhelming.  This is not a good time of year to feel that way! 

We have a lot going on and it is all being overshadowed by the fact that I just want to leave it all and go to China to get my babies.  Praying we can leave on December 27th.  Pretty much we have been told that won't happen but I know my God can move any mountain.  I believe in His timing and His plan now more than ever.  And I know He knows my heart better than anyone and what my desires are.  He has brought us through so much and blessed us with our precious baby girl and given Ethan the medical treatment he needed to get him healthy and strong for us to bring home.  There's nothing I can be more thankful for this year than that!  No Christmas gift will top the moment I have both Ethan and Reese in my arms!  And then the moment I have all 6 of my kids home together will be such a blessing! 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Introducing Reese Elizabeth Tucker

We received our LSC today!  So it is officially official!  We are so happy to share this news with the world, especially with our friends and family who have been following this story and praying for our family!  We are so blessed, I don't even have the words right now (shocking, I know!).  This precious little girl has been growing in our hearts for so long, I can't believe in a matter of weeks we will be holding her in our arms and kissing those chubby cheeks!  God's plan is so much better than mine... He knew all along that we had 2 babies waiting for us!  I give Him all the praise and glory!

Monday, November 12, 2012

God's Perfect Plan

When I was sitting in Nanjing, China on August 20th, I felt like my whole world was caving in.  I prayed that I could make it through whatever events were going to unfold and that I could hold on tightly to my faith and let God work it all out.  Nothing made sense and I was completely devastated that we were going to be sent back home without our son.  I was scared that they were going to let him die and there was nothing I could do, except pray and ask my brothers and sisters in Christ to do the same thing.  And that is what countless number of people did.  Thanks to those prayers, our little boy is not only alive, but thriving in the China Care Home in Beijing, where his pacemaker is definitely doing its job!  Praise the Lord! 

Not so far away, Ethan has a little sister who will be coming home AT THE SAME TIME as he does.  We got word last Thursday that China is going to expedite our paperwork for Reese and we will be traveling no later than January to bring our babies home!  Praise the Lord!  This is something we gave completely over to God and I honestly got to a point that I was at peace with whatever the outcome of our request was.  I knew that God's plan would prevail and I decided to just not worry about it!  We are so excited to head to China to complete our family!  Yes, 6 is our magic number and we can't wait to have all our kids home together! 

We had the pleasure of being a part of an amazing fundraiser Friday night.  The "Band Together for the Fatherless" event was one of the most awesome things I have been a part of!  Almost $8,000 was raised last week for the Ledbetter family and a lot of that came from this concert of 5 worship bands in our community.  They each played 3 songs and there were adoption videos played in between.  The Spirit was definitely present!  I think Danielle said it best when she took the stage and said that it was a little glimpse of what heaven is going to be like when we are all just living together and worshipping our Lord.  What an enormous blessing to be a part of something so incredible!  Everyone that was there agreed we need to do it again and get even more churches involved.

I am so thankful to God for comforting us over the past few months and for giving us hope.  This is the only way we have gotten through moving on after the events of August 20th.  I hope that our story will be an inspiration to someone who may need to see a real life example of leaning on God during a difficult time.  We have been through so much on our parenthood journey, but through it all, God has been there working it all out, putting each piece of the puzzle together, and opening all the necessary doors.  He is so good, all of the time and I am humbled by His love for me and our family. 

We hope to receive the LSC letter tomorrow and are praying that we can travel by the end of the year.  Can't wait to post Reese's sweet pictures!  We requested an update today, but GW says it takes several weeks to get it back, so we may not know any new measurements or have updated pictures before we travel, but we thought it was worth a try! 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Ethan update, including pictures!

Today has been a great day for both adoptions!  We received our PA (pre-approval) for Reese.  Which just means that China has agreed to review our paperwork to be officially matched with her.  The next piece in that puzzle is getting our LSC (letter seeking confirmation).  This is the document that took 122 days for Ethan's adoption.  However, we are not expecting it will take long for Reese because we have been logged in for so long for her and it is supposed to be quicker in those cases.  We are praying that China is agreeing to expedite her adoption and that we will get the LSC very soon.  Then we can file all the American paperwork.  And we can post her picture, too, after we get the LSC!

We also received an update on Ethan from Half the Sky and three pictures!  He was moved to the China Care Home in Beijing on November 1st and is doing great!  He needs one more check-up with the doctor in Beijing and then he will be cleared to travel.  They will take him back to the orphanage where he will wait for us.  He has been through so much and we just want to give him all the love and care he deserves.  What an amazing and strong little boy he is! 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Happy Birthday, Becca!

Becca turned the big 1-5 today!  We started the day with her opening presents then went to church, where we got to celebrate Orphan Sunday by giving a little bit of our testimony.  Our new sermon series is called "Justice" so Tim talked about the Safe Families program we are hoping to get started and then I joined him on stage to talk about adoption.  It was a blessing to share how much we appreciate all of the love and support after everything we have been through.  It was especially exciting to share news about Reese!  We can never repay or thank enough all the people who have helped us in the process of adopting Ethan.  We are so humbled and amazed by how awesome our church is!  When God speaks, they listen and I am so grateful for that!  There are several families who have known us through our other adoptions as well, so it's fun to share those memories, too.  Becca wanted Chinese food for lunch, so we ate and then went to buy her new basketball shoes.  She made the High School team!  We are proud of her and excited for another season! 

Our other big event of the weekend was trading in our mini-van for a 12 passenger van!  Oh my, it is a big one!  It even makes the suburban look small!  We got a good deal for our trade and our payment is actually lower, so that helps our monthly budget, too!  It's going to be hard to get used to, but it is nice to know we have the space we need for our expanding family!  The girls like it, even though they weren't sure at first.  We have had a lot of laughs over it, especially when we pulled it into the garage and it barely fit!  Tim will drive it and I will take over driving the suburban.  I will miss having something smaller, but glad to have room for all the kids!  Carseats take up so much room and when we need 2 of them in both cars, we knew we needed to figure something out. 

We have not heard any news yet about either Ethan or Reese.  We are trying so hard to not be anxious about adopting them in one trip.  We want Ethan home so badly after all that has happened and it just seems to good to be true that we could bring Reese home, too.  But we know that our God is an awesome God and He could make it happen.  We will trust Him.

It's going to be a busy week and hopefully we will get some news early in the week!