Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Mama's Girls!

How awesome is this? Taylor and Leyla are holding Sophi's cards and books and then we have a picture of Sophi holding them too and she is half way around the world!!!! Makes a mama happy!

Our Shirts

These are our shirts!


These are the shirts that we made for Blake & Sophi! I hope they like them!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

November Update!

I am so glad to be posting this message! We were told that Cathwel's computers were down and we would not be getting an update this month. But.........God knew I couldn't go any longer without seeing my sweet Sophia's face! Although it is only 4 weeks between updates (usually), it feels like an eternity! It is very nice here in FL and I had the windows open today when the UPS truck came. We all made fools of ourselves with the shrills of excitement seeing the UPS driver with our update in hand! Poor guy, he probably thinks a bunch of monkeys live here! Here are some of the pictures and info we received. Current weight is 19.2kg height is 99cm She likes to play with the older children but when they are at school, she likes to hang around the caregivers and asks for hugs! (I can't wait to get my arms around her!!!!! She won't ever have to ask for hugs again!!) Her skin is very sensitive. The dress she is wearing in the first picture is the one we sent her for her birthday. It came with the little bow for her hair and she is holding the books and cards we sent her too! That is the coolest thing to see!!!
We sent another disposable camera to Blake so we should get some pictures of him soon. I will post them as soon as we get the camera back! I wish we got updates on Blake too but that's one of the perks of having an agency. Usually we get at least one picture of both of them together but not always, like this one. :(

Monday, December 19, 2005

More Court News

We just got an e-mail from Penny stating that our hearings went "very smoothly". YEAH!!!!!! Penny also said that she expects the judge to sign the first decree ASAP! I am not sure how long this will take but hopefully we are on target for a trip to Taiwan in late February!!!

Thanks for all of your prayers! We are making some progress!

Saturday, December 03, 2005


On Friday night, we decided to e-mail Penny to see what Blake and Ling-Wei want and need for Christmas. I also asked if we had entered the courts yet and she replied with a copy of an e-mail she had sent us on Thanksgiving Day that told us we had court dates!! Turns out it did come through on Mark's account but was lost in the pages of e-mails he gets daily! I was so shocked when I started reading what she had written. We have been praying that our court hearings would be close to each other and it can't get much closer. The hearings are on 12-13 & 12-14! Of course we are praying that we get final rulings on these days but it is not likely. It could take up to 2 months between the hearing dates and our final ruling to come in but we will continue to pray that we get a fast judge that sees no need for any further information for our cases. I cannot wait to hear that we have a ruling. Sometimes, Cathwel will let you start making travel plans without a final ruling so we will see. We are getting so excited about getting our children home.
Please keep these dates on your prayer lists!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

October Update

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BABY GIRL!!! Ling-Wei turned three on October 2nd. We have been waiting for these pictures of her birthday party for a month in a half! Isn't she beautiful! Ling-Wei loves to sing and so she sang Happy Birthday to herself. Isn't she just sooooo cute!!!! We are very happy that big brother Blake was able to celebrate her B-Day with her! She was not alone! They are just so sweet together. Blake is really looking well in these pictures. He looks happy and his coloring is looking much better! If you are wondering what is on her head in the last picture, it's a little blanket we sent to her. Don't know why it is wrapped around her head but it sure does look cute! Take a look at Ling-Wei's little pinky finger. You will see that it is crooked and it just so happens that Tommy's (our 14 year old) and my little pinky are also crooked. Isn't that too cool!!
Well, it was kind of funny because I left for the Women Of Faith Conference (along with 75 other ladies from our church) on Friday afternoon. I drove a car load over a little early so we could sneak some shopping in before the conference started. We got to our first store and Mark called to tell me that we got our update! I knew soon as I left it would come and so it did! I wanted to leave Orlando and come home right away (for a minute) then I remembered...I was free for the weekend!! Mark was trying to tell me that Ling-Wei was holding the gifts and cards that we had sent over for her but he could hardly talk!! As a matter of fact, I was getting a little upset with him because he was crying so much he couldn't give me any details about the pictures. Taylor (our 9 year old) got on the phone and gave me great detail so all was well. She was soooo excited too!!!! I think that made this whole thing real for the kids seeing that they both had the things that we have sent to them. It is finally setting in for me that Blake and Sophia are really coming home soon! We have to start getting things ready for them like beds and clothes, etc. I don't work well under pressure like my friend Kim does, so I need to start making a plan now and putting it into action. It's been a long time since we had a 3 year old in our house so I have a lot of work to do. Hope you enjoy the pics as much as we did!

Friday, October 28, 2005

Adoption Poem - Get A Tissue!


I hold you in my heart and touch you in my dreams
You are here each day with me, at least that is how it seems.

I know you wonder where we are.....What's taking us so long,
But remember child, I love you so and God will keep you strong.

Now go outside and feel the breeze and let it touch your skin.....
Because tonight, just as always, I blow you kisses in the wind.

May God Hold you in his hand until I can be with you,
I promise you, my darling, I'm doing all that I can do.

Very soon, you'll have a family for real, not just pretend.
But for tonight, just as always, I blow you kisses in the wind.

May God wrap you in His arms and hold you very tight.
And let the angels bring the kisses that I send to you each night.

Author Unknown

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Hurricane Wilma

Well, we are happy to report we got no damage from hurricane Wilma! Thank you Lord! We were not able to send our paperwork out Monday due to the hurricane but I did get it all off today! YEAH!!!! It is on it's way and I don't have to worry with it anymore! What a great feeling!!! Our agency said, when they receive the dossier, they will send it out the very next day to Taiwan. Since we are adopting Ling-Wei through Commonwealth and Chia-Ho independently, we had to get a lot of duplicates for the paperwork and we also had to send the papers in different directions. Chia-Ho's went directly to Cathwel. Kind of scary but the girls and I prayed over them before handing them over so we feel very confident that God will guide them safely and into the right hands. Now we WAIT AGAIN! When the papers arrive in Taiwan, they will be checked for accuracy and then Cathwel will begin the court process. The next step for us is to hear that we have a court date. Sometimes you won't even know that you have a court date until the hearing has already taken place. When we hear that we have a court date, the next step will be for the judge to render a first decree. We should have a good idea of our travel dates around the same time that the 1st Decree is rendered. We are on the homestretch now! Please continue to keep our family in your prayers as we start preparing our house for two more precious children. The addition to our house should be started very soon!!!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Authentication Complete

Finally!!!!!!!!!!!! We received our paperwork back from the TECO office in Miama today! I guess the extra money we paid for 3-6 day service was for nothing (it's been 3 weeks)! That's ok though, we have them now so we press on. We found one more paper that needs to be notarized so we will get things rolling on Monday morning. I can't wait to get these papers out of our hands! Everything that we have been working for is finally done and I want to get it on it's way!

Saturday, October 15, 2005

September Update

Weight is 18.5kg and Height is 97cm
This is an amazing update! Sounds like she is headed for the right family! Update says that Ling-Wei is uncomfortable with the temperature of the room rising! She was not able to sleep on her bed and got on the floor to sleep where it was cooler. (Sound like anyone you know and her MOMMY!!) They got a new playgym in the toddler room and she loves it. She has learned to climb, play, and use the slides. Now this made our hearts crumble: When Prudence (an administrator at Cathwel) chatted with Ling-Wei this was their dialogue: Prudence: Did your big brother play with you today? Ling-Wei: (Smiled and nodded her head) Prudence: What did you talk about? Ling-Wei: Twinkle, Twinkle, little star (singing in Chinese) Prudence: What else? Ling-Wei: How I wonder what you are. (again singing). Is God good or what???? If you know our family, you know that music is our lives and we are always singing and have music playing where ever we are. Mark being a Worship Pastor, this made him very proud and touched him in a special way! I am sure she will be on the praise team very soon!!! What confirmation about these children fitting into our family.

Friday, September 30, 2005

Pictures from Cathwel

We got our camera back today that we sent over in the care packages.
They took some really great pictures for us and I thought we would share some of them.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

TECO Bound

TECO is the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office. It is in Coral Gables (Miami). We found out that there is a new application form that has to be attached to your docs when they arrive and we don't have one! GRRRRRRR!! Our agency did not know about it so it took me a few days of calling to track one down. Another 5 days of our paperwork sitting here!! TECO faxed me a copy and now we can send the docs out. I have no clue what they do with our documents at TECO. I just know that I had to send them there. We paid the extra money to have the 3-6 day service so we can get things rolling.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Certification complete

We FINALLY received our dossier back from the SOS today! They returned it once due to a problem with our notary verbage. So now, off to TECO for Authentication. Please pray that this step goes a little smoother and quicker.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Care packages arrived

I got an e-mail today from Penny and she said that the packages had arrived for Blake and Sophia. The clothes we sent for Blake were way too big. I sent 8/10 and he must be more like a 6/7. He's a little peanut! His shoes fit good though! Blake took the camera and will be taking pictures for us. Can't wait to see them!
Penny also sent me some measurements of Sophia's feet (yes I know how we Harpold girls like our shoes! Unfortunately, the 6 pairs of shoes I have bought her will not fit her! Turns out she has some big feet!) and her height and weight. She may wear the same size as Blake soon! She is growing like crazy! Anyways, it was sweet of Penny to let me know they arrived.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Blake & Sophia meet for the first time!

Aren't they so sweet together!!! Penny, who works at the orphanage told us that they plan to schedule regular visits and playtime for Blake & Sophia so they can get aquainted. Apparently, they already act like brother and sister. Penny had to tell Blake to "Try to get along with Sophia". So sweet!!!

Friday, September 16, 2005

Ling-Wei's Birthday

Ling-Wei's birthday is October 2nd. We had hoped to have her home for her 3rd b-day but it hasn't worked out that way. Today we sent her a package with a blanket, a baby doll, cards from mommy and daddy, cards from brother and sisters, a card that about 75 people signed for her at church (not that she will read them), a couple of books, a dress and candy from Disney World (Mom went to Night of Joy there). Oh yeah, and a camera so they could take pictures of her birthday. We also sent Blake a package that had a "suit of sport" as Penny called it. Basically a jersey and some basketball pants. He requested black tennis shoes so we sent those, balls, and candy from Disney World too. We can't wait to see if the clothes fit them.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

August Update

Weight is 18.5kg Height is 97cm. What can I say.....What beautiful children! Caregivers report that Ling-Wei is sharing toys with other children and helping take care of them. When they are giving out snacks and food, Ling-Wei will tell the caregivers which children hadn't been given anything. She would report to the caregivers if a child pressed the button on the elevator when they were not supposed too. Sounds like a little mommy!! The last statement on the update was that she is scared to be alone! I just want to go and bring her home so she doesn't ever have to feel like she is alone!!!

Sunday, September 04, 2005

E-Mail from Penny

We received an e-mail from Penny stating that Chia-Ho accepts his name well.
They plan on calling our children by their American names from now on so when we arrive, they will answer to them. Now, if I could only get myself used to speaking of them and using their new names we will be doing good.

Friday, September 02, 2005

OK....It's Official

Chia-Ho's name will be Blake James Chia-Ho! We sent Penny an e-mail and we will wait to hear if he likes it.
I am going to have a hard time calling them by their English names. It's been such a long haul and we have been calling them their Chinese names for what seems like forever. We will have to practice.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Think Quick!!

We were asked today what Chia-Ho & Ling-Wei's English names will be. We are under the gun now! They want to start calling them by their English names so when we come to pick them up, they will know who we are talking to. We (or should I say "I") have had a name picked out for Ling-Wei for some time now. Her name will be Sophia Noelle Ling-Wei. We have NO CLUE what Chia-Ho's name will be and the family just can't come to an agreement. Poor thing....he wants to know what his new name will be!!! YIKES!!!

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Mom to Mom

We have been praying and praying for our paperwork to come so we could just move on with things, but I haven't even slowed down to think about what was going on half way around the world............until now.
I hold in my hands the adoption contract that our daughters birthmother had to sign. She had to sign a paper giving away any and all rights to her only child.
Can you imagine what this young mother must have been feeling?
I never imagined that I would feel such heartache when I saw the papers that I had been so anxiously waiting for.

In our "Dear Birth Family" letter we wrote these words: "It is our commitment to you, to always speak about the honor, bravery, and love that you demonstrated in your decision to allow us to adopt your child."

I didn't really understand what that meant until this very moment. Seeing and touching her name and signature was just so overwhelming to me. The tears that this mother must have shed on these very papers. How could I be so insensitive to what she has been going through? I only thought of myself and how I longed to be a mother to this precious little child.

I feel so guilty, but at the same time, I know that God has a plan for this little girl and her birthmother and our family has simply been given the privilege of being included in it. God has so graciously given us this child to be our daughter. One day it will be clear as to what God's plan is for her life and why He allowed us to be her forever family.

**This is a private journal entry that I feel led to share. There are so many unexpected things that happen in the world of adoption and this was one of them for me.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Miracle Worker

WOW!!! The power of prayer!!! We have been sharing with our Sunday School class our dilema and asked that they pray with us that God would make this happen soon because the wait with no end in sight is getting to be too much. So, as usual......God took care of us!! What could have taken 1 - 2 more months just to get into the court system to start the change of guardianship, has been completed in only 6 weeks!!!! And......... the papers were signed by the previous director of the other orphanage! We didn't even have to go through the courts!!! Again, I am in awe of the mighty power of our God and how merciful he is to us!

We have received all of our paperwork for both children and we are moving on now!!!! Thank you for all of your prayers. They are working! Let's keep praying our precious children home!!

Thursday, August 18, 2005

July Update

July update - weight is 18.1kg height is 96cm
What a sweet update. Looks like she is adjusting to her new home. The caregiver states that Ling-Wei is starting to join the other children in activities. She likes to be a little helper, throws things away in the garbage and gets tissues for her friends. After some guidance, the frequency of her temper tantrums when frustrated are reducing and the length of them is shortening. She is still sucking on her fingers which they don't seem to like much. The little boy in the photo with Ling-Wei is Shan-Pen. He is her roomate and is going to the Netherlands.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

INS Approval Take #2

Well, everything looks good. They did in fact make a mistake on our form. We received our I-171H today showing we are approved to bring both children home!!!! YEAH!!!!!!! We will send our dossier out for certification as soon as we get the paperwork for both of the children to the Sec'y of State in Tallahassee.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

INS Approval

We received our I-171H today. We were so relieved until we took a closer look at it! It shows we were only approved for one child. I e-mailed our contact right away to ask if this was in error. Please pray that all is well and we are only dealing with a typo!!!

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Our First Update on Ling-Wei - June

Weight is 17.2kg and Height is 95cm We got our first update today on Ling-Wei. What a great surprise after a long day at work to come home to a package from the agency. The first thing we noticed is that they cut her hair very short! Daddy was a little upset! He likes his girls to have long hair! That's ok though, she is still a doll! This was our favorite picture of her. She looks like she may have a bit of a "Tude"!! Her update says she has some difficulties with handling her frustrations. If she doesn't get her way, she lays on the floor and cries for a while. (Sounds like a typical 2 year old) She also does not interact much with the other children. Just stands off to the side and takes it all in. Poor thing, she is so scared! Being in a new place with a lot of children. She is not used to this.

Friday, July 15, 2005

This will break your heart!

We received an e-mail from Penny today. They explained to Chia-Ho that we would be coming for Ling-Wei and then return for him when his paperwork was completed and he expressed a fear that if we took Ling-Wei home first, we would love her more than him! So.......we will wait. We will bring them both home at the same time. We have no idea how long this will be but God has settled our dilema.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005


We recieved word today that the orphanage is having some difficulties with Chia-Ho's paperwork and that's why we haven't received anything. They were also trying to hold off on Ling-Wei's so they could send them at the same time.
Apparently, when Chia-Ho was at the Guang-Tz Orphanage the director there had been granted guardianship of the children so, when many of the children were transferred to Jonah House, they did a mass change of guardianship. Well, Chia-Ho was somehow missed in this process so, the director at the other orphanage still has legal guardianship of him. Problem being, he is no longer working there and no one knows where to find him. So Cathwel has petitioned the Taipei Government to appeal for guardianship of Chia-Ho. The government will then grant guardianship to Cathwel, they will sign the release and then the judge can approve the adoption. This will eliminate the search for the previous director of the Guang-TZ Orphanage and having him sign the release for adoption documents. Penny says that this could take 1-2 months at least just to get into the courts, but thought that this would be the faster route. So knowing this, we have decided that we will go ahead and proceed with Ling-Wei and return for Chia-Ho when everything is settled. This is really a hard decision. Chia-Ho's papers aren't ready and they can only guess at how long it will be until they are, but Ling-Wei has been waiting to come home since the end of May. Only God knows what will happen and when our children will come home to us. Please pray for us!

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Still No Paperwork

Nothing to report on. We don't know what is going on with our paperwork. This has been very frustrating to say the least. We accepted both of our children's referrals on May 27 and still have nothing.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

We have been printed!

Our fingerprinting appointment was really easy. You show up with your little card that has your scheduled appointment time on it, fill out the appropriate paperwork for adoption and then they call you back to be printed. It would be great if each step were this easy! One more step is complete!

Thursday, June 09, 2005

INS Application

We sent our application to the INS office today. Now we wait for a fingerprinting appointment and approval to adopt our two children from the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services in Orlando, FL.
They will send us a post card with an appointment time on it to be fingerprinted.
Here we wait again! There's a lot of this waiting that goes on!! LOL

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Here's our angel!!!

Isn't she beautiful! We think so! It has been two weeks of pure torture waiting for these pictures but now that they are here and we actually know what our daughter looks like, we are so happy!! Turns out we had seen her before in a picture that a family took while at Cathwel but we had no idea at that time that she was ours! God is sooooo good! Cathwel will send her paperwork along with Chia-Ho's to our agency and then we will start the next step which will take a lot of preparation of gathering documents and so on. Pray that we will receive the paperwork quickly and all goes smoothly.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Pediatrician Approval

I just returned from Dr. Lockhart's office where she looked over the medical report on Ling-Wei. She said she appears to be very healthy. It seems that she has had excellent medical care too. I also took Chia-Ho's medical for the pediatrician to look over. He will have some testing done when he comes home to clear some things up as to his health. There is not much to go on for him. So.....we will e-mail our case worker and accept the referral for our Son Chia-Ho & daughter Ling-Wei.
That is so cool to be able to say that!!

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Referral papers received

YEAH!!! We received Ling-Wei's paperwork today. She appears to be a healthy little girl! She weighs 35lbs. and is just shy of 3' tall. She came to Cathwel in April from foster care where she had been since birth. We got some background info on her birthmother and her birth grandparents. I have an appointment with our pediatrician May 27th so she can look over the medical reports.

We also got word from Penny at Cathwel that if we were interested in adopting both Chia-Ho and Ling-Wei, they will let us. Chia-Ho's medical and social history are being faxed over to us tomorrow for review also.

Monday, May 23, 2005

IT'S A GIRL!!!!!

We received a call today, May 23rd from our agency to let us know that we have been matched! This is what we know so far: She is 2.5 years old and her name is Ling-Wei. What a sweet name! She came to Cathwel the end of April 2005. We should be receiving her medical and social history reports within in a day or two. No pictures yet! Those will come after we have our pediatrician review her medical reports and accept her referral officially.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

OH .........BOY!!!!!!!

Thanks to our very special kind & sweet friends, Frank & Kim Farley......... looks like we may be adding another one to our evergrowing family!!! Frank & Kim just returned from Taiwan with their newest additions Hannah, Josiah & Caleb from Cathwel. Welcome Home!! Along with their new additions, they came back armed with photos of a little boy named Chia-Ho who also needs a home. They are on a mission! Nathan (one of Frank and Kims sons) and Chia-Ho were in an orphanage together in Taiwan so Nathan is excited about the possibility of him coming to the US. Mark saw the pictures of Chia-Ho and told Frank he was open to the idea of making him a part of our family. Well, that's all it took. Frank contacted Cathwel to find out if they would consider us to be his family and we have been on the phone with our agency to find out if Chia-Ho is actually available for adoption and what needs to take place. Now we wait to see what happens. We will keep you posted.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Updated Homestudy

Dr. Cotton came by to update our homestudy for INS since it had been more than 6 months and he also needed to see our new home and see Leyla. She came home with us on March 9th after a long hard road through the courts in AR. Thanks for all of your prayers for our family.

Friday, March 04, 2005

No Longer Homeless

That's right.....we are back in our brand new home and boy is it ever nice to be home! Everything is different so we are trying to get used to a new floor plan and figuring out where everything is but hey, it is awesome! There are not enough words to express how greatful we are to all of you who helped us with getting back into our home!! And to Mark's parents Bob & Barbara.....THANK YOU for letting us move in with you AGAIN!!! Hopefully, this will be the last time!

Friday, February 18, 2005

House is complete

YEAH!!!!! We have a move in date.....February 27th!!!! Who would have thought that losing our house would turn out to be such a blessing for our family. A HUGE thanks to Chris Burton at Christopher Burton Homes for making his subs available to us during this trying time. To Howard Crisp, and everyone else for the countless hours you put in at the house over the past several months. We couldn't have done it without you. And to all of the church members who brought food to us and prayed for us. We will forever be greatful to each and every one of you!!!!!

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Still no word from Taiwan

We still have not heard a thing from our agency. They really don't have any control over the timeline. We knew going in that this could take 4-6 months for a referral but the waiting is really hard! With all of the other "Stuff" going on in our lives, this is turning out to be a good thing! We are learning first hand that God has perfect timing and we need to trust Him.

Saturday, January 01, 2005


Child Of Mine

I haven't met you yet or seen your little face,

but in my heart you hold a very special place.

My hopes grow with each passing day,

even though you're miles away.

I know you're there waiting for me,

as I am here waiting to see,

the child God has sent from above,

to make me a mother and share all of my love.

Author Unknown


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