Merry Christmas little one

Mr. Tinkles Poopsalot is learning Mandarin with us. So far he is picking up the tonal aspects much better than the rest of us. We’ve learned that the same word is used for mom & horse…which my boys think is hilarious. I, on the other hand, have a fear that I will meet my little one and call myself a horse instead of mom.

Found a new book on Amazon. It has been a great springboard for discussion with the boys about the struggles their newest sibling might face. China is a big topic in our home right now. The older boys are so excited to go with us when we finally get to travel.

I’ve reached a level of craziness that I didn’t know existed for me. Everything and everyone somehow reminds me of China and my child. My friends told me not to post the next photo because it would reveal my insanity, but oh well. You know how some people see images of the Virgin Mary in a piece of toast and then sell it on ebay for thousands? Well, I see China everywhere….I even see Chinese characters in burnt cheese on my cookie sheet….and take a picture of it because it is so amazing to me.


Granted, I am sure that is not actually a Chinese character, but doesn’t it remind you of one. Burnt cheese. I’m losing my mind.

We’ve been waiting since early October for an I800A approval. China requires that we have approval from the US that the child we adopt will become a US citizen. The I800A is the first part of that US approval. We have all the documents we’ve been gathering since June complied in what is called our “dossier”. Our dossier must first be sent to our agency for US seals before it can be sent to China. We’ve been waiting and waiting for word that we got our I800A approval…it is the last item we need to send off our dossier.

Last week we had reached 60 days of waiting (last year it was averaging 35 days). I emailed and was told we had not been assigned an officer (this is who gives or denies the approval) and to email again in two weeks.

Well, I am a rule follower sometimes. I didn’t email this week, but on Tuesday I called. I was told we had been assigned an officer and to call again on Thursday afternoon.

Thursday 12:01pm – I decided it was technically the afternoon, so I called. “Case still pending check back as often as you’d like”.

Thursday 4:50pm – Checked again before the office closed…..”Your case was approved today.”

After 65 days of waiting, we got our approval!!! As long as all goes normal with the mail the actual approval should arrive in a few days and we’ll get to mail our dossier off before the end of the year. That will be a really good day. 5 months ago I had no idea what an I800A was…now I will remember it as one of the best Christmas gifts ever.


It is Christmas Eve and my heart is so full. Our stockings are hung. The tree is shining bright. All feels as it should be, but in a way it doesn’t. There is an overwhelming sense that someone is missing. In the past, I’ve been pregnant on Christmas. Though my little ones were hidden from everyone else, I could feel the kicks…know his or her presence. It never felt like someone was missing. This year it does.

I was left a comment the other day with this link to the song Merry Christmas by Third Day….

There’s a little girl trembling on a cold December morn

Crying for her momma’s arms at an orphanage just outside a little China town

There the forgotten are

But half a world away I hang the stockings by the fire

And dream about the day when I can finally call you mine

It’s Christmas time again but you’re not home

Your family is here and yet you’re somewhere else alone

And so tonight I pray that God will come and hold you in His arms

And tell you from my heart I wish you a Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas my little one.

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  • Irene NZ - Congratsss Ashley for the approval!! God’s timing is the best. Merry Christmas to you and your family :)

  • ria - the song is perfect for you. i am so glad you are one step closer to bringing your little one home. you are so blessed. someone told me the other day that my little one (she is adopted) was so lucky, i think we are the lucky ones. congratulations, sweet family.

  • Barbara G - This is wonderful!
    Merry Christmas!

  • Jo - I just have to share a bit of my own crazy with you: while I was reading your post, and I reached the part “your case was approved today” – I burst into tears! I have so enjoyed reading about your journey to adopt your beautiful little one, the way you write so clearly expresses the connection you already feel for that child. I can’t wait to hear more news! Praying that he or she feels wrapped in God’s arms this Christmas.

  • Kassie - Congratulations and Merry Christmas! :) this time next year I hope you’re all gathered together sharing each other’s love.

  • Leslie - So excited for you and your Christmas gift! Congratulations!

  • Kara M - Funnier than Ma for horse is the phrase for “so so.” Mama Huhu! Horse Horse Tiger Tiger! It was my favorite phrase to use in China. My rule was to just slur my words and the tones didn’t matter! :D

  • Bella - Congrats Ashley!! What wonderful news, and right before the holidays….talk about awesome timing! :) Hope it all goes well and that you will be mailing off all of your documents before the new year! :)

  • heather - merry christmas to you and your family.
    all 7 of you.

  • karen eyink - 1. Is it the same person leaving all these nasty comments on all the blogs I read this year. Some people have such chutzpah. I cannot even dream of leaving these comments. It is eyeopening for me. Haters are going to hate, it is what they do.
    2. The whole Ryan Gosling, hey girl thing is hilarious to me. I googled it a few weeks ago and found him reading them and to see him uncontrollably laughing and reading them was doubly funny.
    3. I love learning about the adoption process, priceless.

  • Aurelie - Hello ! I just stopped by to say hi. I have been spending the last hour on your blog, and particularly looking at all the loveliness you create with your hands. Just wanted to thank you for this, because you just helped me a little more on finding out what I aspire to, after being “stuck” for a while on many levels. Your place trully is idyllic to me, and you have a lovely lovely family.

    Lots of love from France :-)

  • charla - Yea!!!!!!!!!! Merry Christmas!!!!

  • Carolyn - Congratulations on being one step closer to bringing home your little one! I know it feels like someone is missing, but really you are just feeling them tug on your heartstrings the same way you felt the other children kicking inside your womb. This little one is with you in spirit already and you are getting closer everyday to holding them in your arms! Merry Christmas to all of you!

  • Katie - So happy your Christmas wish came true. Saying a prayer for your little one and all the others waiting for their forever families.

  • Steph - Oh my goodness I am crying. You deserve your child, very much so. Love and patience from my home to yours!

  • Stacy Schmidt - So exciting! We adopted our youngest 2 children from foster care earlier this year. Although they lived with us last year, this was our first Christmas as an official, forever family. I love reading about your adoption process. Please keep the updates coming. You make me want to adopt again! Congratulations to your family!

  • Nicole - Congratulations and Merry Christmas!! (p.s. where are those cute stockings from?!?!)

  • RobyGiup - So happy for the approval!!!!! It is really the best Christmas present one could imagine!
    Merry Christmas (with a bit of delay) from Italy!

  • Rebecca - Wonderful news. Congratulations.

  • Alecia - Hey Ashley – Congratulations on getting your approval! Sounds like a wonderful present! Just curious, why did you decide to adopt internationally rather than domestically? I don’t know much about adoption and was wondering if there are advantages to adopting internationally. Thanks!

  • Anne - I was born here (NY) and so I know very little chinese in terms of reading and writing despite my parents attempt to send me to chinese school. It’s definitely not an easy language to learn but I know with your dedication you might even end up knowing more than I do. If I could ever help with anything simple/conversational, I’d be more than happy to help. Shoot me an email anytime.

    congratulations. It’s a beautiful thing that you’re doing. But what did I expect from a beautiful family?

  • Lacey - Congratulations! This is such wonderful news!

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