Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Sophie's Home!

On Monday December 8th Sophie became part of our family, FOREVER!
[Read about the trip on my Mom's blog]

 Silly Bei Bei!

On Saturday December 20th Sophie came home!!!
[Sorry I don't have pictures of the homecoming]
We are SO excited to have Sophie Joy Bei Bei home with us!

She's a sassy one!

First Christmas with her family!! 

Such a fun day!

Quick family picture on Christmas Eve!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014


On Monday and orphan became a daughter!
Read the story here!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Sophie Joy Bei Bei

Whew! Did I take a long break from blogging or what? Sorry guys!
But i'm making it up to you by posting pictures of the newest addition to our family!

Sophie Joy Bei Bei {Xinyang, Henan}
We received LOA for Sophie on October 30th!
Just so you know, we received her file on June 3rd!!! Fast right?
That would be because her adoption was (and still is being) medically expedited.
What is a medical expedite? Well it means letters from doctors are sent with Sophie paperwork saying that it is critical she is adopted as soon as possible.

So would could possibly be so medically urgent about this adorable little 3 year old?
Sophie's internal abdomen did not develop correctly. Therefore she has a colostomy to help with her fluids. She also has a minor heart defect.
Honestly I don't understand her medical condition very well, but I do know it is very complex.   

What are we waiting on next? Article 5 and Travel Approval/Consulate Appointment.
(Those are the major things)
So how long until you can get her? The soonest my parents would travel could be in 2 weeks. But it may not be for 5 weeks. It just depends on how quickly the Chinese government works on our paperwork.

Am I going with my parents? Sadly, no. This time i'm going to help hold down the fort! (haha)
With being in China just 3 months ago, I didn't have a burning desire to go. Plus, my school doesn't stop, so that would be too much to juggle. Also, with Sophie's medical condition, if an emergency arises it's easier for my parents to not have to worry about anyone but her. To be honest, i'm not too terribly disappointed. I'll get a new perspective since I've been their twice already.

Since I won't be there, I obviously can't blog the trip. So if you'd like to follow along, you can go to my Mom's blog. I'm fairly confident she'll blog as much as is possible.

Monday, September 8, 2014

China- My Experience at Maria's {Part 3}

This third part of my China trip will be answer your questions!!
(Thank-you to those who asked!)

Will the Show Hope website have any photos of your trip?
Currently they do not have any pictures that were taken during my trip. But there may be some in the future. However, they do post pictures and speak of many of the children I met while I was there.

Did you get close to any children in particular?
Yes! Maria Claire, Vincent, Garrick, Angel, and Annalise were some of the kiddos I spent a lot of time with. You can search their names on the Show Hope website to see some pictures.

Would you recommend this trip to teenagers (my daughters) looking into it?
Absolutely! It is a once-in-a-lifetime life-changing experience. If you are interested in mission and/or orphan care this is an amazing trip.

How many days would you recommend to recover from jet lag when you get home? 
I'd say about a week. But it may take longer to get completely adjusted back. I was really blessed when I came back this time because I had zero jet lag! Yayyy!

Did you take your DSLR?
I did not. I took a small point and shoot camera. It was just more practical and easier for this trip. But two other girls on the trip did bring their DSLR. I just didn't want to risk anything happening to mine.

What sightseeing did y'all do?
We visited the Great Wall and Tienanmen Square. We also walked around the part of Bejing we were in. And we saw Old City in Luoyang.
If Maria's isn't an orphanage, what is it? So kids don't live there?Maria's is a "Special Care Unit." (Like a small hospital) Children who have critical special needs "live" at Maria's during their care. But once they are considered stable, they return to their orphanage. Sometimes even before they are better.

Are the workers Chinese or American?
All the nannies are Chinese, and all but one of the nurses are Chinese. The doctor is an American as well as the preschool teacher. One of the overseers at Maria's is also an American. So it's a mixture.

Is your family adopting again?
Haha! I was wondering when this question would turn up. For that answer you can visit my wonderful mother's blog: http://adoptedandappointed.blogspot.com/2014/07/the-newest-news.html

If you have any more questions that come to mind just ask them in the comment box below.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

China- My Experience at Maria's {Part 2}

Thank-you to all who left question on my last post. Don't worry, if I don't answer your questions in this post, i'll answer them in future posts.

After the initial arrival at Maria's and my first day I began to feel more comfortable. It wasn't totally awkward to walk into a nursery of ten children and four nannies. All who are without a doubt talking about you while you have no idea what their saying. [By the way, the nannies are SUPER sweet ladies! Some are more shy than others, but a good deal of them will try to communicate with you. And they love when you take pictures of the kids and will help you hold the kids!]

I didn't grow close to any specific children at first. Which upset me at first. But then I found myself going back to the "Dumbo Room". Maria-Claire really began to capture my heart. As one of the oldest children at MBHOH, it was easy to develop a relationship built on more than toys. Garrick, who also lives in the "Dumbo Room", also began to tug on my heart, full of giggles and personality he was easy to love.

But not every child is easy to love. How do you build a relationship with a child who can't move on their own? How do you laugh and play with a child who can't respond to your touch or voice? I think God spoke to me more while I sat in a corner holding a child who was unable to communicate or even smile at me than any others. I'll be completely honest, dealing with that stuff is difficult for me. I would much rather play with a child who can giggle and run around. But what I like is not always what God wants.

Later on I also fell in love with a little boy named Vincent. He is paralyzed from waist down but he is really fast, both crawling and in his little wheelchair. He has the cutest little laugh and I loved playing with him every day! He lives in the "Peter Rabbit Room". There were also a few babies who I, and some of the other girls really felt connected to. 
Speaking of the people on the trip. I was truly blessed with such an incredible team! I had no idea what to expect going into a mission knowing no one. But everyone was able to connect so quickly and we became like sisters. I honestly can't believe we only knew each other for days it felt like years! But out of my 19 team members I became especially close with a girl named Kayla. We were the last to arrive at the airport and we just kinda click. We were able to arrange seating on the plane so that for 13 hours we could be next to each other. Then at Maria's are beds were next to each it other. God really blessed me with Kayla! I just wish we didn't live so far from each other!
Kayla and I riding up to the Great Wall!
Kayla and I in Old City
Feel free to keep leaving questions and I will certainly answer them in the posts to come!

Monday, August 18, 2014

China- My Experience Serving at Maria's {Part 1}

** I cannot post any pictures of the children I met at Maria's Big House of Hope online. China and Show Hope have requested the pictures of these children be kept off the internet and out of public view. This is to protect the children, their families, and their adoption. **

What a place. I remember riding in the bus with my 19 other team members and driving through a gate that led to a huge blue building. There is was. I'd seen pictures, I'd read stories, I'd dreamed about it; but nothing compared to seeing it with my own eyes. For those who don't know, Maria's Big House of Hope is a 6 story special care unit located in Luoyang, China. It is not and orphanage. When we first arrived I was so overwhelmed, so many nurseries, so many children. 

If you don't know the story behind MBHOH please read about it at showhope.org

We arrived at Maria's around 4pm and dinner was at 6pm. So I forced myself to unpack and not see any children. But the next morning at 7:30 (the earliest you can go into any of the nurseries) I found myself in the "Finding Nemo Room"
Each room has a Disney Theme

I found myself with playing with a little girl who had a heart defect and down syndrome. Sassy and sweet, she had me and a friend laughing for the next half hour. But then I entered the "Winnie the Pooh" room. As I walked in the door my heart skipped a beat. A little boy sat on the floor almost identical to Luke.
The last pictures taken of Luke before he died.

His name was Ryker, almost four years old. He had spina bifida and was paralyzed from the waist down. The boy was sweet, but too similar to Luke. I had to leave the room soon. On the inside I was a mess, falling apart. But the outside was completely calm, I showed no different emotion. I had determined before the trip that I wasn't going to tell anyone about Luke.

So I left the room and found another nursery as I tried to forget about the wound that had be touched ever so slightly. More to come...

*Please begin leaving question about my trip so that I can answer them within these posts.*

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Dana- Summer Themed Photoshoot

** All photos belong to me and therefore may not be used or downloaded without my permission**

Last week I had a photo-shoot with a friend of mine, which I had been planning for about a month. My desired "theme" was just Flower Crown. So I got on Pinterest and what do you know... there was an abundance of DIY flower crown tutorials. 
So I went to the dollar store, bought some stuff, had my sister help me, and made a flower crown.
From which, this photo-shoot came.

Dana 1

Dana 7

Dana 8
Makeup was done by yours truly. 
Dana 11
Dana 12

Dana 15

Dana 16

Dana 17

Dana 20
Hair was a combined effort between Dana and myself.
Dana 22

Dana 24
Dana 6

Dana 27
I thought the flower crown turned out well.

Dana 29

Dana 31
Dana 32 BW

Dana 34

Dana 37

Dana 39 BW
Dana 42
Dana 45
Dana 46 BW
Dana 48

If you live in the Fredericksburg Virginia area, and are interested in having pictures taken, email me at:

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

{Pinterest} What I'm Loving- June

What I'm Loving

Bubble Necklaces
They dress up the simplest outfit and add such a stylish effect to any look.

Scarf Camera Straps
They are SO much cuter than your average black camera strap, I need to find a DIY and make one!

Copper Ombre
I've loved the ombre trend since it started, but I have to say, this copper ombre that I discovered is the icing on the cake of ombres. I'm in love, and have been seriously considering dying my hair.

What are you loving this month?
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