March 1, 2011


AMAZING is all I can say!!!! Hard to believe the scared little girl we first met is now BLOOMING!!! She is loving America & is fitting right & truly becoming an All American Girl!!!

She has experienced so much in her short time here & has also had to go through a lot! Between Dr. appointments, dentist & even had to have dental surgery where they pulled 7 teeth & she had chronic infection, which the dentist said she was in so much pain younger because her nerves were dead! Luckily her permanent teeth that are coming in are GREAT, YEAH!!! Here is a picture right after they wheeled her back into us! As you see she was not very happy with us!

She would not be happy that I posted that photo! Her next first is the eye Dr. looks like someone may need glasses!!!

She got to go to her FIRST Ice show!!! We took her to see "Toy Story 3 on Ice"!! She loved it & did not move once & her eyes were glued! Of course it brought tears to mama's eyes to get to experience all this with her & to think she would NEVER of had these opportunity's if God did not place this child in our lives!

Jesse was her favorite!!!

She went to her FIRST High School basketball game to watch Brooke cheer! She was not sure about the band at first but like anything else she got use to it after awhile & she never complained about it being loud! She decided she does not want to play basketball but wants to cheer/dance like Brooke!!! After years of coaching cheerleaders, Mama always said her girls would NOT be cheerleader!!! HUM, guess I might be eating my words!!!

Another FIRST, which Mama is happy about is...... She is taking gymnastics & is a natural!!! She is already working on her round off back handspring & almost has it by herself after 3 weeks of taking classes!!! YEAH, maybe she will stick with gymnastics instead of cheering??????

Another HUGE FIRST, she started school today!!! We are so excited & never dreamed she would be this far in her English to start school! She has been working with her tutor from IU once a week & I have been trying to home school a little bit each day (I know what you all are thinking that know me, I have coached gymnastics/cheerleading & been a hairdresser for years NOT a teacher) but she is picking up so fast that she really needed more structure in her life each day & her mind needed to be tested a little more. After the first day she already was starting to read books & did subtraction problems with NO troubles!!! She had FUN packing her backpack & getting ready for her first day & the kids made her feel so welcome!

We have only enrolled her part time for now & she will go a few hours each day until she feels comfortable staying all day!

Last but not least another FIRST for her is she has a sister, brother & a FAMILY forever!!!

There is sooooo much more to share but hopefully I won't wait as long to post & will share more!!!!

January 12, 2011


WOW, I can not believe we have been home over a month!!! It is all still a blur!!! Hard to believe this child that has touched our hearts has been in our arms now almost 2 months & we are still in awwww of how far she has come!!! I will admit it has not been easy but I think the timing of arriving home around the Holidays made it even harder. The kids were home from school for another 2weeks for Christmas break so I will say we have ALL had a lot of time for bonding, maybe toooo much!!! It is really hard to explain when people ask "How are things going"????? Not sure how to answer when I want to keep it in a positive way but not sound like it has been perfect!!! I am living the song "The Climb" by Miley Cyrus right now, just listen & it will explain how I am feeling, it is all about the climb & keeping my faith!!!

There is soooo much to tell about our first month home so I will keep it short!!! She has truly amazed us on how well she is picking up on English, she is trying so hard to fit into this American world that she wants to know how to communicate with others! She loves watching Annalei at gymnastics & she is a natural herself, once she sees something or if you teach her she will do it!! The gym is so excited for her to start classes but once we get there she crawls back in her shell & will not participate, mama even bought her a new leo hoping that would help (but she is VERY modest & a leo does not cover the whole body so that is an issue).

She has had LOTS of first & that is so amazing to us & we realize how much we take for granite. Popping popcorn has been the funniest, walking in snow for the first time, seeing drums played at church, shopping at a mall, Christmas with a Santa that brings gifts, decorating cookies & I can go on & on but that is when I stop & put my exhausted selfishness aside & start to realize how we have changed this child's world & how she is having to adapt to a new life & we have expected so much out of her, even though it all may sound like it is heaven to a child, she still had a life that she lived 9 years before coming to America that is totally different than here!!!! I had to stop & think the other day that she even had a name for 9 years in China (Long Fu Mei) & in 1 day it was changed & she has had to learn it & adapt to it over night & live with it(thank goodness she likes it)!!!

She is going to start tutoring soon with a friend of mine at school & we have found a grad student at IU that is Chinese to help out as well, YAY!!! We are so excited, she needs more structure in her life & a daily routine, like she had in China!! She seems very bored when we are home so I am doing some school projects at home & many crafts to keep her occupied!

We have many new pic's & I will try my best to update more often!!!! Here a some from Christmas, we introduced her to the COLTS, decorating Christmas cookies & then a picture that my niece captured of her looking out at the snow & then typical siblings playing around!!!

December 8, 2010

November 4, 2010


11 months ago we fell in LOVE with your Precious Face, with not much information about you we just felt led that you were are daughter. I have had many scared emotions during this journey & have asked my self a million times have we made the right decision. I know there are friends, family & acquaintance that we have met along the way that totally don't get what we are doing & why an older child or they don't understand how you can love a child that is not your own!!!! Adoption is not for everyone & I get that BUT doesn't every child deserve a home or a MOM & DAD to call their own or just someone to LOVE them, so WHY judge the one's that are willing to bring these orphans in & give them the LOVE they deserve????? PLUS, God already had a plan for Annalei & Meilynn once they were born, to be born from one mother but be placed in another mother's arms forever!!! Thank you God for choosing me to be that forever MOTHER!!!

So our journey that we took the leap of faith that God chose us for 11 months ago is about to start in exactly 13 days!!!! YEP, you heard me right we leave Indianapolis on Nov. 17th & will be flying half way around the world to be united with our daughter!!!

WE would love for you all to follow along on this amazing journey with us, you may see the good, bad & the ugly but I know in my heart it will be an adventure that will change all of our hearts forever & in the end be so rewarding for her!!! Here is our website address that we will be posting each day with pictures Our travel dates will be added & you will be able to click on each day to read.

Here is a really neat story that I took from another blogger but how true it is. We were all orphans before & thank goodness he didn't turn his back on us!!!!

My Adoption Story

I don't know if I have ever shared my adoption story with you all so I thought today maybe I should.

I was adopted at the age of 30 years old into the most amazing family ever.

Statistics show that I was the least likely to be adopted.

I was the child who had waited- far too long- to hear the good news.

I was the child who waited because I had one too many labels, made one too many mistakes, and was viewed as unlikely to succeed.

I was the child who most believed was not worthy of the risk...

not worthy of the effort...

and not worthy of the price.

I was the the child who most people would have never considered.

The child with scars, the child who was dirty, the child who didn't appear to have much potential.

But then one day they told me about The One who was able to see past all of that.

The One who loved me regardless of the mistakes I had made.

The One who saw what I could be- instead of what I was.

The One who thought I was worth it all- so much so that He was willing to die for me.

The One who saw my worth.

The One who saw my potential.

The One who saw what I could be- if I was given a chance.

The One who never gave up on me.

I am so thankful for The One who paid the price for my adoption.

I know it was expensive.

I know it cost more than anyone could ever imagine.

I know it wasn't easy.

I know that it was painful, that it was hard and it was heart wrenching.

And I know I didn't deserve any of it.

But He came for me anyway...

Regardless of what others would say or think.

Regardless of all of the work that had to be done.

Regardless that there was no guarantee I would love Him back.

Regardless of the cost.

And today I am forever changed.

I am no longer alone, scared, scarred, overlooked and viewed as no one.

Today I am a child to the king~ precious, loved, forgiven, healed, whole.

All because of my adoption.

Adoption is the perfect picture of God's amazing grace and love.

It changes lives and saves souls.

Adoption is...

the heart of God.

November 3, 2010

HALLOWEEN 2010!!!!


This year Dalen requested before he is was to old to Trick or Treat he wanted to dress up either gory or scary, so we went shopping to see what he had in mind... Well he didn't pick anything that I disapproved of so he went as the Unknown Phantom with glowing eyes (but when he went to turn his glasses on that lights up the switch broke so he had NO glowing eyes, bummer because it was pretty cool) So in the pictures he is the one totally dressed in Black!!!

Then I decided to let Annalei decide what she wanted to be this years as well.... First she wanted to be a pretty witch but every time we would look she kept going back to the Princess section & she wanted to be Snow White, YAY mommy was soooo excited!! I have always wanted her to be Snow White but she never showed any interest so of course she made the cutest Snow White!!!

Here is a cute picture of Annalei with her "Best Buds" Bre & Madison!!!
Then of course Annalei with Brooke!!!

For all you of you wondering "Where is the pictures of Dalen????" He is not much for getting his pic taken, so NO I don't leave him out he is just not willing!!!

ALSO, STAYED TUNED THIS WEEK BECAUSE THE "THE DOW FAMILY" RECEIVED FABULOUS NEWS ON MONDAY!!!!!! YEP, YOU GUESSED IT "TRAVEL APPROVAL"!!!!! OH YEAH BABY WE ARE GOING TO CHINA TO GET OUR GIRL!!! POSSIBLY AS EARLY AS NOV. 18TH!!!! STILL NOTHING SET IN STONE BECAUSE WE ARE NOW WAITING ON THE CONSULANT TO GIVE US OUR APPOINTMENT BUT WE SHOULD KNOW FOR SURE IN THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS!!!! Dalen was actually thrilled because his only request was we not travel over his Birthday which was Oct. 8th, then he said not over Halloween because he wanted to Trick or Treat & then he said not during Football season because he did not want to miss any games, well the season came to an end last Sunday & then he did not want to be gone over Christmas, well God must of heard ALL his prayers because if we leave in the next couple of weeks Dalen will be home by Christmas!!!! SO I HOPE TO POST TOMORROW OUR WEBSITE & DATES OF TRAVEL!!!!! YIKES I CAN'T BELIEVE THIS IS HAPPENING!!!!!

October 25, 2010


This time of year there is A LOT of football going on... Either practicing, playing watching, wearing & of course supporting our COLTS!!!! Dalen was able to wear his favorite sports gear to school so of course it was a toss up of either his Purdue jersey or Colts but he went ahead & wore his Colts & we even colored his hair BLUE!!

I know it is really hard to see the Blue hair but he looked so cute!!!

Then last weekend we went up to Lucas Oil stadium (for all the out of towners that may be reading this blog that is where our Indianapolis Colts play) & our High School football team got to play on their field , HOW COOL & Dalen's Little League team got to go down on the field as well!!! Dalen is DOW 88!

This is also Brooke's Senior year & her last year of cheering! We will miss you!

This weekend Dalen starts tournament gameS for football on Sunday!!! If they win both games on Sunday they move on to the Championship game for next weekend!!! As much as I am ready for the season to be over it is always sad when it is over!!! We have made such wonderful relationships with all the families & hopefully these boys will continue to play as they grow older! They think a lot of their coaches & they are so good with the boys & have taught them a lot. Here is a pic from New Years eve with the boys & their coach Jayson!!!

Now just for some random things that are going on besides FOOTBALL!! Still NO news yet about our Travel Approval, I am sitting by the computer daily waiting for that email to come through that says "TA" has arrived & the with the dates that I will be loading the family on the plane!!! I will say my mind has started racing of all the challenges we will all go through & pretty much just planning on the worst & praying HARD for the best. Her poor little world is all going to change & I just cannot fathom her thoughts & how she will feel. She will have so much grieving before she can even break down the wall to let us start connecting & I hope my emotions & the kids will be able to handle the rejection. SO for all you that are reading this we would appreciate all the prayers during this upcoming journey & pray for this child's new beginning of life that God will touch her heart & help her with the transition into her new & forever family!!!!

Then with everything else that is going on my dad is going in for heart surgery tomorrow Oct. 28th. It should be a simple procedure & actually my niece at 21 had the same surgery done to her. His heart seems to have extra little spinners that make his heart race & makes his electricity not work correctly so they are going to try to go up through his veins & burn off all the extra spinners. Hope I explained that correctly & we are praying everything go smoothly! So, I decided to be creative & make him his own candy bouquet! He is always munching on snaky foods & candy so I thought this would be more appropriate then flowers or balloons. Here is my little creation.


October 18, 2010


Hurry Home You Have A Jersey Waiting For You & I Can't Wait to See You Wearing it!!!!

It is another week & NO news from China:( I am trying to keep my spirits up but it is really getting tough. My nerves are shot, I am eating everything that is in front of me, I am crying on my clients, I am doing a TON of retail therapy & I am not sure how any of my friends & family are tolerating me right now. So, if anyone from China is reading this, PLEASE LET ME COME & GET MY DAUGHTER before I gain another 20lbs, lose my clients, have NO money to travel to China or lose all my friends & family!!!!

So on a positive note we did receive our visa's, her new clothes are all washed & folded & ready to go & we had her website set-up to journal our journey while we are in China (which once we have travel dates I will post the address)!!!

Even though our timeline is not looking like I had planned I am not giving up HOPE that we will be eating Turkey with Chopsticks!!!

October 11, 2010


Check out who won "Little Miss" for Lazy Days.......

Yes, it was a TOTAL surprise to us all that she even wanted to do it & then she even got up there in front of all the judges & answered all their questions with personality & without mommy!!! WOW, a year ago she would of NEVER done that. She really has come so far & we are so proud of our blossoming Ms. Independent!!! She thought she was pretty hot stuff & wore her tiara all day & showed everyone her trophy!!! She even has the wave of a professional "Princess", OH & yes she rode the whole parade without mommy to!!!! My baby is growing up!

This is right before she went before the judges!

October 5, 2010


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I know Annalei's Birthday was back in June but I am trying to get caught up on all our summer FUN before we start posting from China & the new journey & memories our family will soon start!

Annalei likes to wrestle, play football & do anything that her brother likes to do but she still likes being a "PRINCESS" at times!!! SO, when I asked her what kind of birthday party she wanted I wasn't sure if she would pick a "Boy" or a "Girl" theme???? Mama was soooo excited when her little girl said a "PRINCESS PARTY", YEAH!!! As you will see the girls had an "Enchanted" time at the "Ball" with a Sundae bar, manicure station a visit from "Cinderella" & they ended the day lounging by the pool! A perfect day for any "Princess"!!!

There is still NO news on the adoption front just still in the waiting game!! China is celebrating some Holiday this week & that means no one is working!! So, hopefully next week we will receive our next step of paper work which is an "Article 5" then PRAYING hard that a couple weeks after that we will FINALLY get our "TRAVEL APPROVAL"!!! Then we will know when we can travel to finally be united with our daughter!! There is a light at the end of this VERY LONG tunnel!

September 16, 2010


I have really been struggling with this post & have put it off for over a week. I didn't want to sound like I was whining or having a pity party for myself but we are at the end of this adoption process & it is NEVER easy & becomes weary. I was really having a tough time last week & it is so hard to try to be in control of a situation that is totally out of our control!!! God truly teaches us PATIENCE & I was not being very obedient in trusting in his time frame for my daughter to come home!!! There is soooo much paperwork & red tape to adopting & it all has to be completed before China will allow us to travel. WELL, there was a certain document that we have been waiting on & of course it was not delivered on time & it was delaying us another week!!! So our agency at this point was trying to give us a rough timeline that they felt IF things stay on course & NO other delays then we could travel anywhere from the end on Nov. or as late as the first of Jan.!!! The next couple of months are very busy for China with Holidays, Trade fairs & Asian games & that is holding a lot of families up from traveling. So at this point I am trying not to completely loose it but feeling so lost!! It is so hard to know I have a daughter half way around the world that has waited 8 years of her life to HOPE for a "Forever Family" & now God's plan is unfolding for her & I have to ask WHY is it taking soooo long for her to come home. She is just sitting there waiting & wondering who these strange people are that love me & WHY are they not coming for me. So, I am asking for every one's prayers that our timeline will be on the short end & we can still travel the end of Nov. & NO later than December. She deserves to celebrate her first Christmas!!!!

Ok, now on to the the fun part of the post & I am done being so sappy!!

We had such a wonderful Labor Weekend (I know late post) celebrating my niece's wedding!!! We stayed down in Brown County & it was such a beautiful weekend for an outside wedding. They actually got married on Sunday because so many of their attendants lived either out of state or out of the country & wanted to give them plenty of time to fly in. Anesa & Joe met at Ohio State where Anesa was diving & Joe was swimming & many of their friends were athletes as well. It really showed how close of a friendship they all shared during their time at school!
Anesa made such a beautiful bride & she is so ecstatic to be "MRS. DOYLE"