Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A lovingly prepared gift

Today in a city in Southern China our little Lily will be getting her first gift. We put together a care package to send to her at her orphanage where she waits for us.

Here is what she will see when she gets the gift


A soft pink teddy bear, a picture book we made with pictures of her and us in it, 2 disposable camera, our official letter saying she is ours, and a handwritten letter from us.

When Lily is shown the book, this will be first time she has seen our faces or probably even heard that she will be adopted. Our hope is seeing our pictures will help prepare her for us. We hope that her adjustment to us will be as smooth as possible, but it will be traumatic for her…to be placed in the arms of someone you don’t know is horrifying enough, but also people who look nothing like you. We pray that her caretakers will read it or at least show it to her.

Our hope for the disposable camera is that her caretakers will use them to snap as many pictures as possible of her. Of course, we want these pictures, but we also want them for Lily. All kids love to look at pictures of themselves from when they were younger, and adopted children are no different…she will want to know her story and see where she used to live and who she used to play with.

Below are all the things Lily will not see when she opens her gift:


Sydney loving the stew out of the little bear for Lily. It was her way of sending hugs to Lily


Madison & Hailey looking through the picture book before we mailed it.


Hailey also sending hugs to her lil sis.


Sweet Madison showing off “her page”. Her page says in Chinese, “I’m your oldest sister. My name is Madison. I’m 7 1/2 years old. I love you so much and can’t wait for you to come home.


Our dear friend, Xiao Gan, got in on the action, too. She helped me write the letter to the orphanage thanking them for taking such good care of Lily and all the other orphans in their care. We told them that we couldn’t imagine how difficult their job is and we pray that God will bless them richly for all of the love they have show His little ones.

It was really fun to put Lily’s package together. Hopefully she will receive it today or tomorrow. We look forward to years and years of getting to lavish wonderful gifts on her.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Introducing…Lily Grace Todd


On Tuesday, June 22, 2010, Travis and I saw the beautiful face of Wu Xiu Li (吴秀莉)for the very first time.  We were sitting on our sofa together as we opened the email that had information and a picture of her.  Here is what we saw


I couldn’t believe how much her eyes resembled Madison, Hailey and Sydney’s.


Then we opened these 2 pictures of her taken on the playground at her orphanage in Guangdong Province.  These photos were taken when she was 13 months old and she was walking while holding on to things. 

Since that night in June we have been praying for her and praying that she continued to grow and have good health.  Even though we got those pictures in June, they were taken in January. 

So, now Lily is 20 months old (born December 29, 2008) and we hadn’t seen any new pictures or had an update on her until last week, when we got these pictures


She is now walking and talking and has continued to grow.  She weighs 22 lbs and is 78 cm tall. 



We treasure every photo we have of her.  These 5 photos are the only photos we may ever have of her first 20 months of life. 


We all are so excited to bring her home.  We can’t wait to hold her in our arms.  Her big sisters talk about her all the time.  We are praying that the final steps to bring her home will go quickly and we can go get her in November. 

Friday, September 03, 2010

She is ours!

We were so excited to get this document in the mail last week! It is the document from the Chinese government that officially gives us permission to adopt Wu Xiu Li. They had given us pre-approval but this is the letter that says they have reviewed all the pages of things we had sent to them, and they are allowing us to adopt her.


Every official document in China has a red star stamp on it. We have been waiting on this approval for 2 months, so we were so glad to get it. It also means we are one more step closer to bringing Lily home. Please pray that the next several steps will go quickly and we can have her home in November! Picture of her to come real soon!

Thursday, September 02, 2010

10 years ago…what a day!

The past 10 years have flown by so fast!  10 years ago (way back in 2000) I married the most awesome guy I know.  You may know him for his striking good-looks and very fun personality, but he is also the most tender, loving husband, daddy and friend that I could ever have imagined.


Here are some pictures from that fun day 10 years ago in Wetumpka, Alabama. It was one of the very best days in my life.  I remember Travis and I talking on that day about how overwhelmed we were by the love that all our family and friends showed us on that day…and I still feel that way today when I think about our wedding day.

Here are some pictures to take you back to that beautiful September day.

travis & sonya outside in the courtyard

wedding party in front of church during the ceremony

travis & sonya walking down the aisle

sonya and parents in courtyard

travis, sonya & travis' mom

wedding party in front of church stacked

Happy Anniversary Travis!