Saturday, July 31, 2010

Sweets For Samuel

How appropriate is that! Just one look at that SWEET face and I am in love!
We are fundraising to finish our adoption of Samuel. Unfortunately we are not independently we have been saving and brainstorming ways to gets this lovebug home. My friend Nicole designed a fabulous website for us called Sweets for Samuel There are several ways that you can help us bring Samuel home:

1. Sweet Bites: These are DELICIOUS! Nicole makes these and they are to die for! The mint chocolate is my favorite and the peanut butter is Shannon's favorite :) They are amazing and everything you would want them to be! I have been known to hide these from my children so I can have them all to myself. Yes, that is true. All of you parents out there... try them and you will see why!!!
You can buy these in either 6 count or 12 count. We will ship them to you - anywhere in the U.S. :)

2. M&M Tubes- These have been the ticket so far! So here is what you do: request the tubes and eat the chocolate. How can you go wrong with that! All that we ask is that you place your loose quarters in the tube (roughly about $20.00 in quarters) and either mail them back to us or I can come and pick them up!

3. Puzzle pieces: We have a puzzle of Elias and Norah holding Sam's picture. We have made that into a puzzle. You can sponsor pieces and when you donate your desired amount for the piece(s) we will write your families name on the back of the piece. once the puzzle is complete we will seal it and frame it for Samuel's room! Lovely!

4. And last but not least, the donate button.

We would like to thank those of you that have donated so far! It means so much to us that you GET it! Thank you!!!

Also, we are planning to have a Harvest Moon Festival September 25th on Daniel Island. We will post more information as it gets close, but you will not want to miss it!

Much Love!!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Red Thread Pictures, Images and Photos

Sam's "special" need...

Samuel was referred to us with a malformed earlobe (that is absolutely perfect in my eyes) and hearing loss. We will not know the exact amount of hearing that he has until he comes home. His right earlobe is malformed slightly and he has moderate hearing loss in his left ear. Once home we will visit MUSC to get this little sweetie checked out. He may need a hearing aide, he may need some sort of implant, we just aren't sure at this time until we actually bring him home. Whatever he needs, we will do our best to see that he gets the best care possible!!! I am so ready to have him home with us!!!!!


Guys, I am so sorry to do this to you! I have moved our home AGAIN... but I am all settled in and ready for visitors! Please stop by when you can!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Window Shopping :)

I have been browsing the net shopping a bit for Samuel. I cannot wait until he joins our family and think about him everyday! So, doing a little "shopping" helps the time go by!!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Reminds me of that song...

That song by Tenth Avenue North. The song where he is talking to God, feeling so far away at that moment. Feeling ashamed, hopeful that he will be forgiven, totally humbled. And then just like God does, He scoops him up and says...

i hear you say "my love is over,
its underneath, its inside, its in between
the times you doubt me, when you can't feel
the times that you've questioned 'is this for real?'
the times you've broken, the times that you mend
the times you hate me and the times that you bend
well my love is over, its underneath
its inside, its in between,
these times you're healing
and when your heart breaks
the times that you feel like you've fallen from grace
the times you're hurting
the times that you heal
the times you go hungry and are tempted to steal
in times of confusion and chaos and pain
im there in your sorrow under the weight of your shame
im there through your heartache
im there in the storm
my love i will keep you by my power alone
i dont care where you've fallen, where you have been
i'll never forsake you
my love never ends, it never ends

Norah's 2nd Family Day

On July 13 2008 at 4:48pm in Nanchang, China, a sweaty screaming child was placed in my arms. It was nothing like I had dreamed so many times leading up to this very special day.

With Shannon videotaping and taking pictures, these first few moments as a family were unexplainable. Scared, terrified, unsure... these all come to mind for me and I am sure if she could tell you how she felt back then it would have been much the same. But in the months and years to come she has blossomed into this creature that does not share our DNA but is most assuredly our daughter. She is a spit-fire for sure but in the snap of a finger she can morph into this nurturing soul that is wise beyond her years. There is a story in her eyes. A story of new beginnings, a story of brokeness and healing, a story of trust and love. She is her daddy's little girl for sure. She has him so tightly wrapped around her finger yet leads him gently to where he must go. She is her brother's keeper without a doubt. They can argue and raise the roof like the best of them. More that one time I have had to pull her off of him. But at the end of the day you better be sure they are on the same team and ready to conquer all that wish to seperate. They are best friends and I have seen a rowdy stinky sweaty 8 year old become a gentle giant.
She has turned this mother's heart into a ball of emotions. Oh, how I prayed for this child when she was not with us. How I pleaded with God to please take care of her until we could get her. She means so much to me, that little girl. I am reminded daily as she splashes in the "tubby" with her bubbles and barbies and toys that I did not give birth to her. It's the bellybutton. The connection to her birthmother that is a gentle reminder each time I scrub her from head to toe. I cannot help but think of that woman today as I remember our first moments with Norah. I wonder if her mother knew, if she felt in her heart that her daughter was gone. That she had another mother holding her so tight and kissing her face.
I am so thankful for Norah. For what she brought to our family and for the laughter she provides. She is a funny girl with a sweet sweet smile.
Happy Family Day, T. We love you to the moon and back. You will always be our princess.

Mani-Pedi courtesy of... Elias :)

Why Bending Beneath Mercy??

How He Loves - David Crowder Band

He is jealous for me, Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree,
Bending beneath the weight of his wind and mercy.
When all of a sudden, I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory,
And I realize just how beautiful You are,
And how great Your affections are for me.

And oh, how He loves us oh
Oh how He loves us,
How He loves us all

He is jealous for me, Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree,
Bending beneath the weight of his wind and mercy.
When all of a sudden, I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory,
And I realize just how beautiful You are,
And how great Your affections are for me.

And oh, how He loves us oh,
Oh how He loves us,
How He loves us all

He loves us,
Oh how He loves us,
Oh how He loves us,
Oh how He loves.

And we are His portion and He is our prize,
Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes,
If His grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking.
And heaven meets earth like an unforeseen kiss,
And my heart turns violently inside of my chest,
I don’t have time to maintain these regrets,
When I think about, the way…

That He loves us,
Oh how He loves us,
Oh how He loves us,
Oh how He loves.
Yeah, He loves us,
Oh how He loves us,
Oh how He loves us,
Oh how He loves.

Yeah, He loves us,
Oh how He loves us,
Oh how He loves us,
Oh how He loves.

He loved me enough to:

- hear my prayers
-give me my hearts desire
-not give me everything in MY time, but HIS
-to take away in order to fulfill me

That's how I know He loves me...

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A little about Samuel....

I wanted to take a few mintues and catch everyone up to speed on where we are with the adoption. For the sake of leaving anything out I will just start from the beginning :)
At the beginning of April, I happened to be looking at the Holt International website that lists children available for adoption. These children are special needs children, and this agency takes special care of advocating for them and their hope is that one of these people visitng their site may find their son or daughter. So, I was cruising this particular day and this child caught my attention. I mean, REALLY caught my attention. Now Shannon and I have talked briefly about adopting again, but nothing serious. It's mostly me giving Shannon a heart attack about adding another child to the Sharp brood. But I digress...
I emailed this agency about this little boy and I got an email back shortly after that he can old be referred to families that had all of their paperwork in China. Well, I bowed out gracefully and said thanks. She assured me she would email if plans changed and we were able to look at his file. I thought of him often, but never invisioned him with our family. I have been on this rollercoaster called "adoption" before, and I know where the turns, bends and loops are. Ya know, the kind that makes you wanna barf. Yeah. So I didn't let myself get attached to him. Time marched on about a month or so later, and I was taking a shower because I had to work that night. I had been really down for the last week or two because I was longing for another child. Since the "good old-fashioned" way was broken the only way we would be able to "have" another child would be to adopt. My heart was breaking and I was a little angry at God (okay, ALOT angry) because this was the only thing I wanted. To be a mother again. Was that soooo wrong?? Jeesh... So I was in the shower and I began to weep. It was years of emotions just falling from my eyes, to my cheeks and down the drain. I was so hurt and angry and sad. Very sad. I dropped to my knees in the shower, put my head in my hands, and just screamed. Screamed for the children that I would not bear after my surgery, I screamed for the children that had no parents, I screamed because it felt good. I will admit, I did get a little sassy. And after all of this was over, I did apologize. But in the heat of it all, I was angry at God. Why would he put this longing and desire in my heart, this overwhelming desire to be a mother to 3 children instead of 2. How was that fair? I had pleaded with him several times that if it was going to be Elias and Norah, that I was perfectly content and so very greatful for them. But to please take that desire away. And that if I was to adopt again, to please make it clear and in my face. I asked Him to open that door wide enough that I would not trip over my own emotions and make that path clear for me. But the not was just too much and it was breaking my heart. Sometimes it was almost suffocating. After I dried my tears, I felt better. It was the most amazing conversation I have ever had with God. I felt like a huge burden had been lifted just by talking to Him, and praying, and just being... real.

The next day, the VERY next day I got this email...

Shannon and Penny,

Thank you for your interest in this waiting child! We are now able to lock these children in with families who do not have their dossier in China. Please keep in mind that they are on the shared list and multiple agencies are home finding for the children at the same time. Please see the attached child material that you requested.

How's that for clear and in your face...

Of course, we scoured his information, all the while not falling in love. Remember the loops and such?!? Our next step would be to send in an LOI (Letter of Intent) that would go to China to tell them we were indeed certain we wanted to make this little one a part of the Sharp family.

BUT, could it really be this easy? Nope, it can't :) But in all of the chaos, it was just God confirming to us that this child would be our son! We called the agency after we had our Dr. review his info. There were two other families that also had his information and they needed to make their decision to move forward. We had two days until committee day. Committe day is where we are assigned a social worker, the other families would each have a social worker and then Samuel would have a social worker. They would go to committee and decide who would be the best family for this little guy. We had our conference call with our social worker from Holt that lasted a looooong hour and a half and then committee would be the net day. I asked her before we got off the phone if the other two families has decided to pursue him and she said, "For personal reasons these other two families backed out." SWEET!!! But that didn't mean we were in... they could go to committee and decide we weren't a good match for him. Anything was possible at this point. I got a phone call at 2:15 the day of committee, and she told us that we were indeed a good match for this little one! Then I took a breath....
Five days after we sent in our LOI, we were PA (pre-approved). This is China's way of saying, "We are picking up what you are putting down, my friends".
LOI - check
update?? CHECK!!
I had asked for an update since the info was kinda old, and a few days later I got this in my inbox :)

1. May we have updated measurements including weight and height?- Height: 82.5cm; - weight: 13kg; - head size: 47cm; chest size: 52cm; teeth: 16

2. Overall health/any sickness (chronic)He has been quite healthy and he seldom gets sick.

3. Is his hearing getting better or worse from the first test?According to the result of the update hearing test done on May 31, 2010, there is no change compared to the first test. Overseas staff will send once they have the English translation.

4. What words or sounds is he currently making?He understands directions. He is willing to learn speaking from the teacher. He addresses aunty, teacher and elder sister by himself. What's more, with the teacher's help, he says other words as well.

5. How is he doing developmentally and cognitively? May we have updated photos?
He has been quite healthy and seldom gets sick. Yet he often gets heat rashes once it's warm.
He is willing to learn from the teacher in class and he enjoys following the teacher's action with the music. He can stack up eleven building blocks. He likes to scrawl with oil pastels. Additionally, he can tear newspaper into long strips. Update pictures are as attached.

And these... ahhhhhhh....

Yes, I would LOVE to be your son!!

LOVE this face...

My little man can stack some blocks, y'all!

His cheeks are begging to be kissed!

We will be able to ask for another update in September, and we are all anxious to see how much he has grown!!

All of our paperwork is in order and our homestudy has been done. We were so fortunate to be able to work with the same social worker, Mrs. Smith. She did our homestudy when we were adopting Norah, and we just fell in love with her and she is such a special part of our family. So it was really great to share this with her as well, and of course to be able to see her again!!
We will begin sending all of that paperwork to various places to get super important stamps on this so we can be DTC (Dossier to China) and then after that we will have our LID (Log in Date). Phew! Confused yet??
We are hoping to travel February or March... the sooner he is home, the better :)

I am so thankful that we are able to have Samuel join our family. We are naming him Samuel after the Bible verse that became so clear to me...

1 Samuel 1:27 "I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him."

His middle name will be Harrison, named after my husbands great grandfather William Harrison. My mother-in-law found out several years ago that William Harrison was adopted, so I thought it fit perfectly!!

We will keep part of his Chinese name, so his formal name is:

Samuel Harrison YunDi Sharp

In the next few days, I will go into more detail about his special need and where he is from. Until then.... peace and love from the Sharp family :)


Welcome to our "new" home! I know that we changed blogs recently and as crazy as it sounds, I just may be nesting! I just didn't "feel it" with the other blog and decided to find a new home for my thoughts and feelings.... and new pics of the kiddos!! Hope that you will enjoy all of the really cool things that we have instore for this blog! Tonight I will be tweaking it and adding pics of the kids. Hope you will sit back, grab a cup-o-joe and be entertained by our family. I know I am :)