Friday, February 24, 2006


Picture #1 - We are standing outside of Jonah House where Blake and Sophi have been living. Pic#2 - Blake and Sophi in the activity room where we first met them. Pic#3 - Blake & Sophi with Penny who is the Assistant Director of the Orphanage and Maria, their social worker. Pic#4&5 - Our first night together in the hotel having a good old fashion pillow fight.


Picture #1&2 - Playtime on Valentines Day. Pic#3 - Blake relaxing and playing his Game Boy. Pic#4 - Daddy & Sophi reading together. Pic#5 - Daddy sleeping while Sophi blows bubbles.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Our first couple of nights home.

It has been a couple of hard days.
We did not get much sleep Saturday night. Sophi was up basically all night. We are back to square one with her on the sleeping b/c we are in another new place for her. Blake on the other hand has done great! He goes right to bed and falls asleep very fast and sleeps all night. It will just take Sophi a little longer due to her age and not being able to understand. We woke up Sunday morning to our hot water heater having flooded our garage and it ended up being an all day project and we still did not have hot water before we went to bed. Sunday night was no better for sleep but Blake and Sophi are starting to go to bed earlier. It should not take long to get them turned around and on our time here. As soon as we get into a more regular routine, it should be much easier.

We spent most of Monday just playing around the house and Mark STILL working to get our hot water tank replaced. This afternoon we went to the beach and everyone had a great time. Sophi got too far out in the water and got really wet. She was not very happy about that. She was cold too so that didn't help things. That wore them out! Maybe tonight will be a better night to sleep!

Sunday, February 19, 2006


We are soooo very happy to be back home!! There truly is NO PLACE LIKE HOME!!!

We had good flights home but not a lot of sleep so we are very very tired.
When we arrived in Orlando this morning, Most of the Farley Tribe were there to greet us along with Tommy, Taylor, and Leyla! My mom was also there but waited at baggage claim. That was a great welcome home for us and we needed to see some familiar faces! We missed everyone so much!

Blake took a few minutes to warm up to everyone but was soon playing and fitting right in! Sophi and Emma were so sweet together. They held hands and played. Sophi also took a liking to Zachary! I feel like they will adjust very well. Now just to get Sophi to give Mark some space! He's loving it but needs a little break!

We just stayed around the house today and got a little rest. Blake has hit it off well with Tommy and the X-Box games and Sophi has been a little ham running around playing. She sat for a long time with Taylor tonight just giving her kisses over and over. So sweet!

Well, it is late and I think that we may get to bed real soon. Maybe it won't take too long for everyone to get back on schedule and our days and nights will be all straightened out soon.

Thanks to everyone for your prayers and support on this long journey to our blessings! Glad to be home safe and sound!

Friday, February 17, 2006


We took things easy today! We packed up everything this morning and headed out at about 11:00am. We took a taxi to the Main MRT station and rode around to the different parts of the city. We found lots of shopping and things to do. Kim told us about TGI Fridays restaurant and we were ready for a bit of American food at this point. We tried asking several people where this was with no help and then we had a very sweet young lady who worked right by TGIF who took us right to it. Blake had a little meltdown in the restaurant because he wanted some ice cream but he didn't understand when Mark told him after he ate he could have it. We asked the waitress to tell him he could have the ice cream after he ate his lunch and she asked if she should tell him in English or Chinese! LOL!!! He understood and things got a little better. Sophi is warming up to me a little more. Slowly but surely it will happen. She fed me some french fries at the restaurant and was interacting with me quite a bit. She still gets VERY upset if she doesn't see Mark so they have been spending a lot of quality time together. We leave tonight at 8:00pm to go to the airport. It is bitter sweet. I can't wait to get home but it is kind of sad to think about taking Blake and Sophi from everything they know. We are praying for a great trip home and lots of family time!

Tommy, Taylor & Leyla:
We cannot wait to see you guys!!!!!
We love you and hope you get a great night sleep!!!
Love ya oddles and oodles!
Mommy & Daddy

Thursday, February 16, 2006


We started out the day with a trip to the Handicraft Market. It was a neat place. We did not get to stay as long as I wanted due to having two children who don't understand the words, "Don't Touch" (in English anyway)!! Blake and Sophi were ready to run around, not look at things in a store. We left the Handicraft Market and walked a few blocks until we found an MRT station. The MRT is a subway system here and was really really crowded. I thought it would be really easy to find our way around and it wasn't too bad but, like I said, Blake and Sophi were running all around while we were trying to figure out which loop to get on. It was quite comical for those around us I'm sure! When we finally got on the MRT, we headed down to the Main station and found a little shopping mall and a food court!!!! YEAH, FOOD!!!! We had lunch at a place called Sunflowers and they had spaghetti and garlic bread!! That was soooo good! We looked around for a while and Blake and Sophi had ice cream and then we headed back to the Handicraft Market where our taxi was waiting.

We are very tired and looking forward to an early night tonight!

We are leaving tomorrow evening at 8:00 to head to the airport. Our flight leaves Taipei at 11:30pm.
Please pray for a safe trip back home for us!!! Both Blake and Sophi are getting colds so also pray that they will have a good flight and not have problems with their ears or anything.

Tommy, Taylor and Leyla:
I am so glad we got to talk to you this morning!!! We have missed you sooooooo much!!! We cannot wait for you to meet your new brother and sister! I know you will love them as much as we do!
See you very soon!!!!
Love, Mommy and Daddy

Wednesday, February 15, 2006


Well, we went to Jonah House at 3:30 today and were greeted by some of the nicest people ever! We first went to the older boys wing where we were bombarded with the boys trying out their English skills on us. Some were very good and some...well they were not! They all tried hard though. Blake handed out his gifts and they were all so happy. Blake took us to his old room and showed us his bed. He slept on the top in bunk beds. We got to take lots of pictures and video of Blake with his friends. We also met Teresa who is the social worker for this group of boys. She was very kind and told us of all of the boys who also needed a home. They were all touching and pulling my hair. The ladies just laughed and said many of them had never seen my color hair (blonde). It was funny. They also thought that my freckled arms were funny. LOL We had a great time. Blake was ready to go home. That was an awesome feeling!

From the boys wing, we went over to the toddler wing. It was so nice to see how much the caregivers really care for the children. Sophi was greeted by ladies and one gentleman that were so happy to see her. They just doted all over her and held her and gave her candy!! She showed us her little toddler bed where she slept next to her little buddy. He was a doll. We timed things good. The older children were still at school so she was the only older toddler there at the time so she got a lot of special attention! And boy was she loving it!!!! She got to have snack time and helped feed the little toddlers. Shortly after snack time, her friends came in from school and they were also very happy to see her. They hugged and kissed and played until nap time and then we had to say our goodbye's. I will sum this part up into a few words. It was heart wrenching! I have never seen such hurting! Sophi was truly loved and was very special to the caregivers and that made things very hard for everyone. Blake was very sweet to Sophi when we left and he comforted her in the car until she had calmed down. He is a great big brother.

We had the privilege of meeting and talking with Sister Rosa. She is a dear lady! She was so kind and so compassionate with the children! She is a very matter of fact woman and will tell you exactly what you need to know. She had a long talk with Blake and Sophi about their new lives in America and that she wanted the best for them.

I am glad to have this part of the journey behind us. We were caught off guard with the idea of saying good-bye because when we arrived Monday, Sophi had her backpack on and was ready to go. She did not cry or anything when we left so we had a different idea of how things were going to go. That's ok. I know that this needed to happen so Blake and Sophi would have a definite separation from this life. We will always remember how blessed we are to have the 5 children that God has given us through birth and adoption! We are truly BLESSED!

Can't wait to come home!!


This is what we have done so far today:

We had our AIT appointment at 8:30 this morning to apply for Blake and Sophi's visa's. Our social worker Maria met us there and they ushered us right up to where we needed to be. It did not take long at all. We were there about an hour or an hour and a half. Maria was happy to see the kids. She said they looked very happy. While waiting at AIT I got to talk to Maria a bit about the children and she gave me some very helpful information. I found out that Sophi is used to having a bottle of milk every night before bed so that was nice to know. Maybe tonight will go a little smoother at bed time! She also said that one of the reasons Sophi probably attached to Mark so fast is that he looks a lot like her foster father and she was VERY attached to him. Made me feel a little bit better anyways. She actually let me dress her this morning without crying. She was sitting on Mark's lap but that's ok, it was a nice baby step.
After our AIT appointment, we went to what Maria called a children's amusement park. Mark & I were both expecting something similar to Sea World. No.....this would be more like a traveling circus with about one third of the rides and things to do. Blake requested (actually, he insisted) to Maria that we go before he left Taiwan so that's why we went. They both had a great time running around and played at the little playground so it was well worth the visit. It felt like it was 100 degrees though!
While at AIT this morning, Maria invited us back to Jonah House so the children could say good-bye to Blake and Sophi. Blake's friends only went to school a half of a day today and Sophi's friends who are in K will be home around 4:00. We are leaving the hotel at 3:00. We will meet Sister Rosa and see where Blake & Sophi have lived. We are very excited.
Well, I will go upstairs and prepare for our trip to Jonah House. We will let you know how it goes!

Tommy, Taylor & Leyla:
Mommy and Daddy miss you soooooo much!!!!
We love you ooooooodles and oooooodles!!!!

Monday, February 13, 2006


Let's see....I'll start off where I ended yesterday afternoon. By the time I returned to the room from posting, Sophi had stopped crying. She was upset that I had taken her shoes off of her! She had another melt down when we were tried to change her into her jammies for bed but sat with Mark until she calmed down.
We ventured out for dinner last night and Mark, Blake and Sophi ate
at a little place right by the hotel. I was not up to eating.

Anytime we say we are going "bye-bye", Sophi runs and gets her backpack that she brought with her from Jonah House! She is soooo cute. It was really heavy so when she went to sleep, we took some things out of it and made it more manageable.
Mark was exhausted last night so he fell asleep in the bed with Blake and Sophi and I was in the twin all by myself! Sophi woke up once and was crying and I just rubbed her back and she went right back to sleep. She is attached to Mark like super glue! If he leaves the room, she screams her head off!!!! She does not want anything to do with me right now. She just cries when I try to touch her so I will wait it out and let her get used to me. Maria, who was Sophi's social worker told us that she was VERY attached to her foster father and this may be why she is so attached to Mark. Blake is as sweet as they get (so far)!! He helps to comfort Sophi when she is upset and he has told us when she needed to go potty so far. We are so glad that Penny worked on letting them get aquainted before we came. Blake is a little smaller than I thought he would be. He wears about a size 6 or 7. He loved all of his clothes that we brought for him. He also loves the Game Boy that Frank & Kim Farley sent for him too. He now asks for it in English.

This morning, we came downstairs for breakfast and found out that Sophi really does like to eat! They told us at Jonah House that food and sleep are very important to her and boy were they ever right!! Blake is a much pickier eater than Sophi. He eats very little and has a lot of energy to burn off.
We found the Wellcome Supermarket today and bought some food items, water, and juice for lunch. We are talking about going to McD's for dinner tonight. We will see!
Well, I better go check on the gang! We had a great pillow fight this morning and I think that's what was about to happen when I left! Oh yeah, right before I left the room, Daddy was drawing a kitty cat with Sophi and she actually said it in English! They are both VERY VERY smart and I believe will catch on quick!

Tommy, Taylor and Leyla:
We Love you soooooooooooo much! Can't wait to get home to see you!!! Hope you are having a GREAT week!!
Mommy & Daddy


It is very hard to explain how it was seeing Blake and Sophi in person finally!
Very very overwhelming but so good!!!!
Blake came in very shy and he is most definitely Mr. Personality. He is as sweet as can be! He took to Mark very fast and even held his hand when they went out for a walk while Sophi was napping.

Sophi (we found out she likes to be called Wei-Wei) was very stand-offish and took a bit to warm up to us. The social worker, Maria, would tell her to come sit with mama and dada and she would for about 30 seconds and then she was off to something else. She is a BIG and HEAVY girl! She was too excited to take her nap before we arrived so she was ready to go as son as we got there. She packed her little backpack and was out the door headed to the elevator while we were talking with the social worker. Blake and Sophi both fell asleep in the taxi on the way back to the hotel. Blake woke up and walked upstairs and has been awake ever since but Sophi slept in the stroller for about an hour and a half. She was very scared when she woke up and has been crying ever since. Poor thing, she is SO scared! I don't think she has ever drank out of a sippy cup or at least she wants me to believe that so I can't get her to drink anything. I need to find something edible for dinner so I better run. Will be back later to let you know how things are going.

P.S. - Taylor, She won't let me take any of her clothes off but from the looks of things, she will be in size 4's or 5's! She got a little haircut but did let me put a clip in her hair today at Jonah House. Her feet are little. The pink converse we sent her are a bit too big. I can't think of anything else right now. Once I get her clothes changed I will be able to see more of her. Oh yeah, she LOVES pink! And she had on a pair of pants with a pair of sweats over them. She had on 3 shirts and a big Hello Kitty jacket with her pink shoes! One more thing. She likes to play kitchen and fixing foods so that little kitchen we have will be perfect for her!

We miss you guys so much and cannot wait for you to meet your new brother and sister! They are a lot like you guys and I know they will fit right in! Our digital camera is gone so for now, we can't post pictures! We will see what we can do tomorrow.

Love you all!!!!

Sunday, February 12, 2006


WE MADE IT!!!!!!
We just got to the hotel, showered and are out to find a camera! Yes, ours has gone missing between San Francisco and Taipei. That's ok though, we still have 2 hours until our taxi comes to pick us up.

The flights were wonderful! I slept most of the way from Orlando to San Fran and a lot of the way to Taipei. Not nearly as bad as I had thought it would be. We do highly recommend EVA Evergreen Deluxe, it was so comfortable.

TO: Tommy, Taylor & Leyla:
We love and miss you ooooodles!!!
Cannot wait to be home with you!!!
Don’t forget about your kisses in your boxes!
Mommy and Daddy

Friday, February 10, 2006


We will be leaving around 3:00 tomorrow afternoon for the airport!
Tommy, Taylor and Leyla are staying at Uncle David and Aunt Karen's house while we are gone. Pray for them! All of them! I know it will be hard on the kids because we are going to be gone for a week. It will be hard on Mom and Dad too! And, David & Karen will have 4 children to deal with instead of one! THANK YOU GUYS! WE OWE YA!!

Please continue to pray for us as we take the next step on our journey to bring Blake & Sophi home! We are so excited but nervous at the same time. We know that God will be with us every step of the way though and He will help us through it all!

We will both try to post messages on this site while we are gone. Mark is not sure if we will be able to post pics yet but at least messages to let everyone know how we are doing and adjusting!

Can't wait to get back!

Thursday, February 02, 2006


We got word this evening that our AIT appointment has been changed to Feb. 14th!!!
What a great Valentines Day gift for Mommy and Daddy. I think God is just protecting me by giving us an unforgettable date for everything to be final. If we find out that our meeting with Sophi's Birthmother is earlier too, we may get to come home a day or two ahead of schedule! That would be great I think. We will see how it goes. Our travel agent, Todd, said that we could call at anytime day or night and he would get us back early if at all possible. He is a great guy!
Stay tuned, it's getting close!


What a wonderful surprise to come home to a final update for Sophi!
The girls and I returned from school and there it was, sitting on the porch! We had just been told that we would not get another update because we would be traveling soon. But.....
The update says: Sophi's Birthmother and Grandmother came by to see her on the day of the court hearing (Dec. 13th). She did not have any impression of them and was not smiling as much as she had before. Her Grandmother brought her a baby doll.
Sophi likes to role play and mimick the caregivers. She will change diapers on baby dolls very carefully and make sure that she holds the head of the baby. She was described as "looking on preciously" while the caregivers attend to the infants . Sounds like a sweet little girl to me!! We cannot wait to meet this little sweetie! We did not get any pictures of Blake this time. :( We will see him really soon though! We sent another camera at Christmas time but we did not get it back yet. I forgot to put Blake's name on it maybe that's why.


Check out our new blog for our Ethiopian Adoption!!