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"

September 3, 2010


We got ANOTHER surprise today!!! MORE new pictures of Meilynn!! We requested photos with her friends so we could have one framed for her to have once she is home & once again the orphanage came through & sent us 5 new pic's!!! They have even requested that we send photos of her new family to start preparing her for her upcoming adoption!!! WOW, we are so amazed & feel so blessed that she is so loved. Our agency said they are really impressed with the orphanage because they have never had an orphanage request pictures or express wanting to prepare her for her new family! Is it me or is she just so stickin adorable & looks so sweet!!!

Anyone that is wondering Meilynn is the little one wearing the stripped dress.

We are off for another CRAZY weekend but it will be so much FUN spending it with my family. My niece is finally marrying her "Prince Charming" after 6 years of dating & it is an all weekend event. So I will make sure to post pictures after the weekend!!! Thank goodness are life keeps us VERY busy because it is helping the wait go by fast but of course to a waiting mom it is not going as fast as I want it to go!!!!! Hope everyone has a wonderful Holiday Weekend!

August 30, 2010


I have decided that I am going to have more structure & more of a routine in our lives since school has started that one of my goals is to keep up with the blog!!! I am hoping to eventually have our family blog made into a scrapbook for the kids someday!! Life can be so busy & we can forget what we may of done last week so this way I will always have our memories that we cherish with our kids. Plus I am wanting to keep everyone updated on our timeline for travel & any adoption updates but unfortunately no news to post so far this week!!! Still waiting for our government to give their approval once again, more paperwork & this time there has been so much more & it is actually our government NOT China!!! Imagine that!!! Anyway still praying & crossing every finger & every toe that we will receive our Travel Approval in Oct. & can travel early Nov but you never know with China you just go whenever they give you permission! One thing I have learned with the process of adoption is alot of "PATIENCE" & everything is out of our hands & we are on God's time not our time!!! And for all those people that say "OH ADOPTION IS EASIER THAN PREGNANCY".....WHATEVER!!!!

So on to our busy lives that is helping the time go faster to bring our daughter home!! Dalen has started football again & had his first real game this past Sat. He is playing on the 5th & 6th grade red OV team & they won!!! They were so excited because Dalen was a little scared going into this game because we were playing Bloomington & they have some really big boys on their team. On the way to the game I was trying to give him the pep talk & reminded him of his favorite movie "Facing the Giants", you can do anything you want if you put your mind to it & then I told him to pray HARD before going out on the field!!! Funny thing is mom is giving him the pep talk & I was the one praying in the stands that none of those really BIG boys would hurt my son!!! SO let FOOTBALL season began & keep praying none of the boys will be rushed to the ER!!! I forgot my camera so I added a photo of him with his buddies from last year! He has the same number, same color, same coaches & a lot of the same boys on his team!!! GO OV RED!!!

Ok, then after the game my husband & I had "DATE NIGHT"!!! I know how exciting!!! We never get much time just him & I. I have such an amazing, hard working, soooo understanding, loving & I think VERY handsome husband & I feel like we get lost into our everyday life that we don't have much time for just him & I to be together. And once we get home from China there will not be much time for "DATE NIGHT's" so right now we are trying to do as much together & fun family nights before our family goes through maybe one of the hardest transitions of our lives!!! SO, onto the night!! We actually met some of his customers for dinner & then we went & stayed at the "Canterbury Hotel" downtown Indy!!! Got up Sunday morning & went out for breakfast!!! We LOVE our kids don't get me wrong but how often do you have a nice quiet dinner & breakfast without kids wanting something or complaining about not eating at McDonalds!!! Then it was back to REALITY but so nice why it lasted!!!

OK, Monday again now the CRAZY schedules start!! Annalei has been taking gymnastics for a couple of years but for anyone that knows our daughter she has not been the most "Independent Girl" of the bunch!!! Mommy has actually had to coach at the gym just for her to stay in her class, we saw so much potential in her but her fears have gotten the best of her. BUT with a lot of patience & encouragement she has started facing her fears & has been going into her own class for the past 3 months and really has started trusting the other coaches!!! YEAH, & now she has been moved up to "BLAST OFF", which is a Pre-Team, who would of ever thought!!! I am still a little hesitant when it comes to meets if she will even go out there in front of all those people but we will face that when the time comes!!! Hopefully her little outgoing friend Lucy will help her!!! Tonight will be her first time in this class so we shall see how it goes!!!

So, now with school, pre-school, homework, football, gymnastics & trying to wait patiently to travel to China & preparing to bring our daughter home, I feel like all the other crazy families in the world that I NEVER understood how they juggle every day life without loosing their minds!!! I am learning it can be done & we always get through each day!!!! Hoping Meilynn adapts to a CRAZY family!!!

I am leaving you with a really cool Steven Curtis Chapman song!!! He really has the LOVE for all the orphans around the world & he keeps trying to help each one find their "Forever Family"!!! You will need to go down & turn off the music that is playing on the blog.

August 24, 2010


Ok, let's back up... After we received our LOA our agency said that they were going to request an update on her & mentioned if we want to ask her any questions we can send them & hope the orphanage will ask her. WELL, I sent our questions to them last Wed. right before we flew out to Maryland to visit one of the families we traveled with to China the first time for a nice relaxing get away. But that is whole other post with pictures for another day!!! So, I sent them & then they had to send them to China to be translated & then send them off to the orphanage. WELL after laying by the pool on Friday I come in & check my phone & there it is an email from our agency that said "Meilynn Update"!!! I was so excited & screaming & then tears just started to flow. This is just another reassurance from the man above that things are going to be OK & she seems to fit perfectly into our family!!!

It does make it harder to sit here & try to wait patiently the next 2 months before we travel. There are so many things going through my head I have to stop myself from being so selfish & stop & think about her & what is REALLY going through her little mind. We are about to take her from everything she has always known & she has already been moved back to the orphanage after living with the same foster family for 3 or 4 years & a place she may have loved & become so attached to & now another move & another care taker all because of us. I know everyone is thinking but why wouldn't she want to come here & live a better life???? She knows no different & material things mean nothing to her, hopefully clean clothes on her back & a warm bed will warm her heart & then she might not think we are that bad of people!!! We will have HUGE adjustments but I know it will be worth it for her in the end!!!

Here are the new pic's & the answered questions!!! AND yes, to everyone that has asked or are wondering, we are going to let her hair grow!!!

3.The Dow family is adopting Long Fu Mei, DOB 7/25/2001, Welfare Institute of Xinluo District of Longyan City in Fujian Province. Can we ask the following?
a. What is her current height, weight & foot size?
Height: 49.25 inches
Weight: 59.4 pounds
Head circumference: 20.49 inches
Chest circumference: 22.46 inches
Foot length: 7.09 inches
b. Has she been living with the same foster family since leaving the orphanage?
Yes. Now she is living in the orphanage.
c. Does she have any foster brothers or sister & what age?
She has a foster sister, 4 years old.
d. Does she speak Mandarin or Cantonese?
e. Can she speak any English?
No, she can’t.
f. Is she still attending school if so what grade is she in?
In Grade Two.
g. Will she be happy to have an English name?
She will be very happy to have an English name.
h. What is her favorite food?
Shrimp, MCD hamburger
i. What is her favorite color?
j. What is her favorite toy?
Controller airplane, bike
k. Does she like to play with dolls?
l. What things upset her & make her sad?
She is afraid of alone in the night.
m. What things make her happy?
Swimming and play games with others.
n. Is she scared of anything?
o. Does she prefer to wear pants or dresses?
p. Does she like animals?
She loves rabbit.
q. What is her daily schedule?
7:00 get up; 7:30 breakfast; 12:00 lunch; 17:00 supper; 19:00 bath; 21:30 go to bed
r. Who are her best friends & are they being adopted to?
Long Fu Dong and Long Fu Jun are her best friends. They want to have family and be adopted too.
s. What is 1 question she would like to ask us?
How many people in the family? Are there any small animals there?
t. Does she know she is being adopted by a foreign family?
u. Does she want to be adopted?
Very happy.

Tears are still flowing just by hearing she knows she is being adopted & she is very happy!!!! GOD IS SO GOOD!!!!

August 18, 2010


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Our Precious daughter "Meilynn Emery Dow"!!!!

It all began back in January when we saw her precious face & after months of paperwork & patiently waiting, China has now given us permission for "Long Fu Mei" to become a "Dow"!!! We got the call last Wednesday Aug. 11th & received our Letter of Acceptance on Friday Aug. 13th. We feel so blessed that God chose her as our daughter & we look so forward to see what plan he has in store for her new life here in America!

We did send her a birthday cake & a stuffed panda bear for her 9th birthday on July 25th but we had to send it anonymously since we had not yet received our LOA (Letter of Acceptance. With much surprise WE received a HUGE gift the orphanage director sent us 6 new pictures of her celebrating her Birthday!!! As you can see she looks a little confused & not real sure what is going on. Who knows if she has ever had a birthday party or even celebrated birthdays before this one. Soon enough she will be celebrating many new first here with her "Forever Family"!!!

Now we try to sit patiently waiting for our Travel Approval which should come in a couple months!! Hopefully will be traveling by the first of November but still a chance the end of October (crossing fingers & praying hard that will be God's will)!!! We will keep everyone updated & we also will be posting while we are in China (website address coming soon)!!

SO sit back, relax & watch as you see our amazing journey unfold!!

July 13, 2010

Gao Shao Reunion Part II

I have finally finished the slide show & it was so hard not to fight back the tears. We had such a wonderful time & no words can express the time spent together & watching these precious girls play together. Your heart takes over while watching them & you have got to wonder what their little lives would of been like if God had not touched each family through the journey of adoption.

Let me rewind & explain why it ended up in Indiana instead of Michigan. OK, 2 years ago Chad & I said we would plan the next reunion & we had all thought we would skip every other year since every one's schedules are so busy!! We had plenty of time to search for enough rooms in Michigan & we found the perfect spot in Saugatuck. Close to the beach, big pool, quaint little shops, food was planned & payment was made!!! We were all suppose to arrive on July 8 & leaving on July 11! WELL we got a call on June 28th from the resort stating that the resort has gone under & they are trying to find a place big enough to place 20 of us. I started to PANIC & decided not to contact the other families until we found somewhere for them to lay their heads at night. WELL that was not working out as easy as I hoped. I called Deb in a complete PANIC & she was on the search with me. Nothing was working out so as of Wed. night June 30th getting ready to head out to see "Eclipse" we decided to host the reunion here at our house, YIKES I went into complete craziness & my mind was rushing (honestly cannot tell you much about the movie except how GOOD Jacob looked)!!! We had a week to get our place looking like a resort & planning some FUN activities here for the kids. LOTS of friends & family pulled together & worked A LOT of long hours to get projects done, make the place look nice, helped make food & find space for everyone to lay their head after a long day!!! Thanks so much to all of you, can not thank you enough!!! SO, everyone arrived on Thursday July 8th & once you see the slide show you will be able to tell that this is what God had planned all along!!! All my anxiety & fears went out the door & it looks like we may have started a tradition with families hosting at their house or close by!!!

We made SOOOO many memories & my dear friend Kindra took some pictures of the girls in matching dresses that Carla so graciously bought for the girls . My sister brought the horses for the kids to ride & when you have always been raised around horses you take it for granted that they are such a novelty to others that aren't as fortunate to be around them or ride them. All the girls said that was their favorite thing all weekend was to ride the horses. We had spa day with manicures & pedicures, Thanks Nancy & Khrista! My other sister made beautiful beach towels with the kids name on it & then the little girls had "Gao Shao Sister" 2010 on them (which no one got a picture of that so if someone can take a pic & send it to me. I would appreciate it)! We had lots of FUN ranger rides in the woods & we ate a TON of fattening food!!!

OK, now I hope you enjoy the pictures of our special weekend. Such memories we all made & looking forward to next year in Maryland @ "The Malamis's" Thanks Carla & Dan can't wait!

You may want to push the arrow to make the slide show go faster if not you may be sitting at your computer all day because there are so many pictures! ENJOY!

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