We are Tim and Shelly and we are on our journey to adopt a little boy from China.

Join us as we travel on our journey...

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

This is going to be long…it can't be helped.  I have tried to use FB more, but still feel drawn to this blog.  This post is more of a memoir for a few of us.

Some of you may remember the post I did about Joanna.  It may help some understand this great “only God can orchestrate” connection we now have with her and her new husband, André.   On March 29, 2012, Joanna married André Abrantes…so the story goes…
Back in September, 2011, we were Skyping with Joanna and André and they popped the question…could Caleb be the ring bearer in their wedding!  We immediately said yes.  We prepared him for the day he would see her again (he had not seen her in person since November 2010) and the day he would walk down the aisle for Joanna and André.  They also sent him a book called When I was a Ring Bearer.  They are so thoughtful.  This helped him understand what he was going to do, but also is a memory book of the wedding.
We left for Costa Mesa, California on Thursday, March 29th.  The flights were uneventful and Caleb did exceptionally well.  When we landed at John Wayne Airport we found the escalator down to where we needed to call for the hotel cab AND there they were, both Joanna and André!!!  This was such a special gift.   You see, Joanna offered and asked if we needed a ride and I told her that we were going to just call the hotel services to get us, which is free for those that stay at the hotel.  It is not that we did not want them to pick us up; it is that they had A LOT of out of town family and we did not want to pull them away from them.  It was so cute to see them together…holding hands…Joanna carrying him, his arms around her and smiling like all the photos we had been seeing while waiting for Caleb to come home.  It was a short trip to the hotel and we decided we wanted to unpack and get dinner and that we would see them the next day for the rehearsal.
We arrived at Mariner’s Chapel in Irvine with the help of Joanna’s good friend, Amanda, picking us up and bringing us there.  It was the most beautiful church campus I have ever seen.  The chapel, which we learned is only used for funerals and weddings, was absolutely beautiful.

We knew Joanna had a lot going on, but when Caleb saw her come in he could not resist.  He needed to be by her, but my instinct was to tell him to stay by us.  At one point I could not help it, I had to let him go, he just wanted a hug and here it is…
The rehearsal was fun; fun to watch Caleb with the guys and Joanna.  The guys really took him under their wings.  They joked around a lot and were teasing one of the guys and telling Caleb the name of them was “garbage man”.  Of course that is funny stuff to a 4 year old.  So that was a running joke that weekend.  Caleb did well, but he was really restless.  He always wanted to be next to Joanna.  So, I was fearful of the actual wedding day.  I just wanted it to be perfect for Joanna and André.  Joanna said that the wedding ceremony would be about 40 minutes and they agreed that if he was restless he could come down from the stage to us.  I was worried because he kept moving around on stage and flipping around, up and down the pillow for just the rehearsal—what was the actual wedding going to be like for him!?!

After the rehearsal we went to Jim and Lisa’s home (Joanna’s Mom and Dad).  It was so awesome being there and engaging in conversation with her family as well as André’s.  They all made us feel so welcome.  We also had the greatest Armenian meal.  Lisa made most of the food and many of Joanna’s family members helped and were at the house for when we all arrived.  I could see the closeness of this family and seeing that made it even more special.  We spent some hours there then Amanda was able to bring us back to our hotel.  (Thank you, Amanda, for your kindness).

We kept it low key this night.  We took in a Mexican restaurant, went to 7-11 then headed back to the hotel to enjoy the whirlpool.  Ahhhhhh…….
Then the wedding day arrived.  We did not need to be to the church until 2:30pm so I pushed to go to the beach.  We eventually got going and headed there.  The hotel brought us to a certain point near Balboa Island and we had to walk the rest of the way.  It was about a 45 minute walk and oh how I loved it.  The shops on Marine Avenue (which I know my Mom would have loved) make me want to veer into them, but I knew we did not have time.  So we kept moving.  The places, meaning houses, were a lot of fun to look at on South Bay Front.  Tim and I definitely love to look at architecture and style of homes…even decorating styles.  It was close to Easter so many of them decorate extravagantly. 
We got to the end (to where the ferry takes you over to the coast) and we did not think we had time to go across.  We spoke to a local and he said it will take two minutes, so we jumped on!  We had to walk about 5 minutes to get to the ocean.  We can say we were there.  We saw Ruby’s Diner on Balboa Pier.  It was windy and overcast there, but I didn’t care.  I just wanted to be there and Caleb did too, until….I was shooting photos and Tim and Caleb were heading to the water.  Mind you, we did not bring suits or towels or anything we just rolled up our pants….they kept walking toward the water as it was receding and all of the sudden a wave came in toward them, Tim starts running back toward me and Caleb too, but Caleb falls and the wave covers him along with all the sand his body could hold.  I freak out because Tim is running away and all I can think of is Caleb being swept away out to sea!  Keep in mind I do not see the ocean but once every 15 years or so.  The sound is awesome, but can also be a little eerie when a situation arises like this!

I pick him up and he is a little whiny about what just happened.  We get him to dry land and start wiping him off.  We had to take his shirt off and make him wear his coat.  He is shivering.  We have no extra clothes.  We have a 45 minute walk back to the place the van will pick us up.
At this point I am laughing at Tim, wishing I could have gotten that on video—Tim running away, while I am running toward him and our son is being swallowed by a wave.  We joke about it now, but it was a scary moment for me and Caleb. 
We walk back, get back to our hotel and it is just enough time to get Caleb in the shower and dressed.  We get dressed and off we go to the wedding!
We get there for photos and Caleb is off with the guys and Joanna most of the time (they had separate rooms for the wedding party).  I felt somewhat guilty that I could not watch my child at times and kept asking the guys and Joanna if he was being good and letting them know if he was too much, that we are here and will take him.  It was one of those overprotective, not-wanting others to think we are pawning our kid off on them, motherly things.   They always said he was being good and that they were fine with him around.  Then the wedding time came around.  Tim and I were seated in the front row of André’s side of the family, just in case Caleb was restless.  Tim was asked to film the wedding with André’s Ipad so that all the people they know that could not be at the wedding, especially from Portugal, could see the wedding in live time.
The wedding started at 5pm and was just beautiful.  The wedding lasted 70 minutes and was completely God-filled.  Caleb lasted the whole time up on stage, now don’t get me wrong, he was restless, but those moments were precious.  Greg, Joanna’s brother, was an awesome guide for Caleb.  He would help pull Caleb back when he would stray too close Joanna and André.  He would hold his shoulders in front of him to try and keep him still.  I thank him so much for that.  During the service there were a few moments that were just so cute.  The pastor at one point says something about China and Caleb talks out loud, looking at me “China, I was in China!”  It was the cutest thing.  Another part was when the pastor asks for the rings and Greg is getting out the ring while Caleb walks toward the pastor to give him the pillow (of course it has the rings on it!).  That was very cute too and to think he was paying attention!  He stayed up on stage the whole time!  He walked out with the whole wedding party and could not wait to be hanging around Joanna. J

Here is the link to the video of the wedding:  http://www.ustream.tv/channel/onetruth-agfa

Then it was off to the reception…. and I had better start another post for that….

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

9:13 PM

Well, hello....

I am sorry I have been absent from here for so long.  I think of you all often. 

Life has been really good for us thanks to our Lord above.  Caleb is doing well and so are we.

Here are a few photos for you.  Prepare yourself for my next post.  It will be outrageously long.

Caleb and his newphew, Weston

Caleb loves swimming class

His second session he loved bobbing under water!

He loves learning,

and building things with his Baba. Here he wa creating the cross that Jesus died on.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Life Keeps Moving!

5:25 PM

Life keeps moving and I need it to stop for awhile!

As most of you know, Tim and I have been diligently working towards financial goals set by the Dave Ramsey program. I wasn’t a big fan at first. I thought it meant that we could not finish the basement or go on a vacation. I was wrong. This plan is meant so that we can do all of that and more and to honor God in ways we have not done before. I now understand why Tim is so passionate about this plan. We are working toward many things now and I must say it is coming along nicely. When we both put our minds to something and have a plan—watch out!

"If you will live like no one else, later you can live like no one else."
— Dave Ramsey

Another really great thing that came out of the Dave Ramsey program is the idea of meal planning. My friend Tina told me about E-Mealz one time and then we learned more about it through the Dave Ramsey plan. Once we looked it over, it was a no-brainer. It has been one of the best decisions we have made. I do not get stressed over what to make for dinner anymore.

This summer has been busy and has flown by. Our good friends Andrew and Erlen were in town the last weekend in July. They have a new baby girl - Lauryn. She is just precious. We went to Como Zoo that Sunday and spent all day there. It was absolutely hot and we were all sweating all day, but we all made the best of it.

Caleb is doing very well. Daycare is great. He is learning a lot there and the most importantly he is learning about Jesus.  When we sit down to dinner Caleb wants to say the prayer by himself. It’s pretty darn special.

We are looking forward to fall—my absolute most favorite time of year! We will finally get Caleb in swimming lessons and maybe some Tae Kwon Do or Karate. Caleb will soon be 4 years old. We cannot believe how fast he is growing. You know, you go through summer and have shorts on him every day, then all of the sudden there is a cooler day in which he wants to wear pants and none fit! That is when you realize how fast little ones grow.

Caleb has another post-op appointment on Tuesday.  Please pray that he does not have to go through another surgery.  We will find out on Tuesday if he does.

Brady's birthday party

Caleb eating very well at Brady's birthday.

Jamie showing Caleb this Nerf gun

The recycled fish outside the Tamarack Nature Center.  All of the frogs pieces are garbage found in the Mississippi River.

Caleb and Lauryn

Andrew looking at Caleb's photo book from China.

Watching Sparky the seal.

Missy, Jamie, Tyler and Brady gave this suit to Caleb.  It is a Power Ranger suit and he absolutely loves it.

Miss Amy at daycare painted all the kids' faces.

Our littlest Grandson--Levi

Caleb and Weston playing

Saturday, July 9, 2011

This and that

11:55 AM

First haircut (in the garage)
First Bike Ride

Best $1.29 we have spent thus far--he loves his goggles!

He loves the 4-wheeler

As you can see from the pictures, Caleb loves water!  It has been a fun summer already!

Where are they from?


Our furbaby Romeo, is no longer with us.

Our furbaby Montie