Friday, September 28, 2012

The Babies

Oh I don't think there could have been a better way to end my night than skyping with Naomi who runs Starfish. I got to see some of the babies who I love so dearly. I miss those babies so much and I cannot wait to have my arms around them again. I love the times I have spent at Starfish and I could wake up to those faces for forever. In the words of Naomi "I can't get mad at them because they are too cute". She couldn't be more right those babies are all precious and I love seeing them and hearing their little voices. To see little Coco and how far she has come in a year is so wonderful. She is no where near the same child she was a year ago. Oh what a little love and food can do to a child. Here are a few pictures I snagged from our little skype session earlier.

I could look at these precious faces everyday all day! Love these babies so much!!


I know my Freshmen year ended months ago but I have finally gotten up the video that I made to remember it by. I am so blessed to have had such a wonderful year last year with some amazing people. I cannot wait to see what else sophomore year has to offer and I am quite excited about many of the possibilities that are in the air. Now for the video please click HERE for it.


Monday, September 24, 2012


Things have been going great lately. I am loving Boone it never ceases to amaze me. The weather is its usual crazy but I guess that come with the package.

I have had a pretty exciting few weeks lately. I have accepted a volunteer position with Dianjiang Kids and will now be their director of communications. I am so excited to be working with an organization that makes such a difference in the lives of the children in China  especially those that are left behind and never adopted. I think everyone by now knows where my heart lies when it come to orphans and how much they tug at it. I love visiting those who don't have families and I am hoping and praying to return during the summer of 2013. I have missed loving on "my" China babies. I haven't made a complete decision on where I will be going in China as I am currently torn between two places and if I can I will be visiting both places.

This last week was a wee bit of a challenge however. I have had my first exam of sophomore year and thankfully it went very well! I am so happy with my classes. My professors are all great and I thoroughly enjoying being a TA. Volleyball continues to test me and I am still no where near good but I am loving the opportunity to try a new sport. The soreness isn't nearly as bad as it was in the beginning and the bruises from serving are no more! Anthro is going to be the death of me a science class for 2.5 hours on a MONDAY is killer and it is miracle that I have survived 4 of them.

The LLC bug has started once again and thankfully (knock on wood) I have avoided it. It does not look like much fun and I cannot miss class. Too much to do to ever get sick that and I don't want to go to class feeling under the weather!

This past weekend I hosted 3 yes 3 high school girls in my room. They were here for the open house and I thought I was boring until I met them. We took them on a very easy and yes I really mean easy hike to do a bon fire with smores and they complained. They just wanted to sit around and do nothing. My mom and Lily visited this past weekend as well and I think Lily enjoyed the college life just a little too much. It was nice to see them and get to spend time with them in Boone. Fall break is in two weeks and I am looking forward to going home. I am however ready for this week to just be over, between tests and quizzes I am exhausted and it is only Monday. Wednesday I am giving blood, please pray that I can stay healthy and don't freak at the needle. Court is going with me and will be holding my hand. I am the biggest wimp when it comes to that needle.

Until next time,

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Football Season has begun!!

The gorgeous rainbow that appeared over Kidd Brewer Stadium last night
Oh how I love college football especially AppState football. I guess it is just something about the time of year that makes me oh so happy or maybe just being around people who love football as much as I do? I really don't know but I am just glad football season is back. There is nothing more excited than walking out of your dorm room and seeing all the black and gold across campus. It makes me smile so much! I love my school and all the school spirit that is around me from the students and community all the way to the fans and alumni!

This year I am working event staff at football games and my main job is working the student and student guest gate to make sure no one enters the football stadium without having a valid ticket or student I.D. We also have to keep our eyes open to make sure no one is trying to sneak items past the bag checkers and bring in prohibited items such as umbrellas, massive strollers, cigarettes, alcohol etc. However, watching the cops pat down individuals is quite entertaining especially after they find such items on them. We only had one major problem where people got testy. Our scanners all decided to go down at the same time and we couldn't let people in the gate for like 10 minutes but after that was done things moved quickly. After the majority of people are in I am basically a floater and last night I ended up in the stands a place I did not enjoy very much; even though I got to watch the game while working it is not a place I want to be again!
Catherine my coworker and I before the game.

Working the stands last night was an adventure all in itself! People fight over the craziest crap. It was ridiculous what I had to put up with and be the moderator between. Thankfully I have wonderful supervisors who took over and finished with the ordeals but my goodness the adults were worse than the students at least when we confronted a student they apologized and stopped what they were doing and didn't do it again. But the "adults" they acted like such children last night granted yes many were beyond wasted and smelled like they had bathed in alcohol since 11 am when tailgating began but still. We had an almost fight over the yellow chains that keep people from walking in front of the stands and blocking fire/emergency exits one girl blamed another for cussing at her when she tried to step though the gap between the pole that holds the chain and the bleacher. That dumb chain was the cause of the majority of the headache last night and people not wanting to listen and understand that unless they were on the from row or in the handicap section they couldn't cross it. Some guy even decided he wanted to get in my face over it and started complaining to me how I was being rude and inconsiderate and how he had paid all this money and wasn't going to be told by a student he couldn't walk where ever he wanted. Which we all know I like my personal space and that was about enough for me. It was settled however and my supervisor spoke with him.  Then after we had just about settled that ordeal we had a guy start puking thankfully we were told and then just went and got EMS/the cops and they handled it. The last major event we had was a girl getting punched in the face by another girl and it wasn't an oh my stop it punch it was awful the poor girl had blood running down her face and swelling already starting, thankfully, we just had to inform our supervisors and the cops and they took care of that but still it was a crazy night!

On a lighter note though I am loving my job even though it got a wee bit stressful last night. I am working with an amazing group of people andI do love working gates and getting to see everyone come in excited about the game.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Referral Day and LID

September 2nd is a special day in our family. Four years ago today we got the phone call from our adoption agency that forever changed our lives. "You have a little girl waiting in China and she is beautiful!!" Man were they ever right she is a beautiful little girl and we love her so much!! We couldn't imagine life without our Lily. 

I remember the day we got the call four years ago. I was a sophomore in high school and September 1st we had heard that families in the Netherlands and the rest of Europe had received their referral and that our log in date of February 6, 2006 was in. It would be the following day before we heard anything and got our official referral with the time difference and what not but still that was the longest day of the 3 year wait. When we started the process for Lily in fall of 2005 and were logged in the following February we were told we would have Lily home by Christmas of 2006 but as many know China has experienced a MAJOR slow down in traditional adoptions and we got stuck and caught in the first of it. We waited 37 long months to see her face but as many have said after they saw their little ones face it was so worth all the long wait and months of paper work and they are right the long wait seems to just disappear when you look at their face and realize they are coming home finally. That and had we not have gotten caught in the wait our little one wouldn't have been our Lily as she wasn't born until December of 2007,

On September 2nd our official referral day I was in yearbook class when my mom sent me a text saying that the call had come through from our agency. Over the phone we learned that Lily was waiting in Jiangxi China in a small rural city at an orphanage that we have since learned is one of the better ones in China. She was 8 months old at referral time and her pictures were taken in April of 2008 when she was four months old. Pictures came not to long after my mom got off the phone with our agency case worker and it was love at first sight for our family. I didn't get to see Lily's picture until I got home from school later that day mother didn't know how to take a pic and send it via text yet. But it was so worth the wait to see her 4 pictures my words were "Awe she is so cute and looks so sweet!" 

After Lily's referral we had to wait 8 long weeks before we were allowed to travel. We were got caught with travel at the same time the Trade fair was going on in Guangzhou and since that is a city we have to go through we had to wait 2 weeks longer before we could travel.

Lily with her referral pictures. I think these are the same ones we printed out 4 years ago!

Also 3 years ago on this day our paperwork was logged into the Chinese system for Jacob's adoption! 

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Amanda and Nashville TN

As many of you know my wonderful friend Amanda passed away in July. In early August her celebration of life was held in Nashville TN. My family and I attended the service and spent some time exploring Nashville. The service was hard to attend but being able to hear from many of the individuals Amanda has met was wonderful. I loved seeing the babies that attended many of whom I had met when I volunteered with Amanda at her Foster home in Xi'An. I loved getting to see Josiah James, James at Starfish.
Josiah hasn't changed a bit. He is still as loving as ever! Oh how I have missed that little boy. I love that his family has kept in touch and has continued to allow me to watch him grow. Him and Lily also hit it off. They got along great and Josiah is quite the charmer still. Lily is still talking about how cute he is. Which of course I agree he is a cute little guy. 

At the memorial I was also able to meet Amanda's mother who traveled from South Africa to be there. Amanda's mother was able to take a picture with all the babies that Amanda had saved who attended the memorial. 

I love seeing all  those adorable faces and knowing that they are here today healthy and united with forever families because Amanda said yes to God even though the deed looked impossible. She was able during her life to save and care for 168 babies. That 's 168 lives that were forever changed and in many cases even more because those children have gone on the change the lives of many volunteers and the lives of the families that have adopted them.

It's not everyday that you meet an angel on this earth. Amanda was an angel and because of her there are a 100+ little ones alive to change the world and make it a better place for all.

Below are many of  the little ones who are alive today because of Amanda and the work she did during her life time. (The children in the fist picture are all still in China waiting for their adoptive families to come and get them, a few have left since this picture was taken) 

Ava and the difference Amanda made in her life.

Some of the oldest children currently at Starfish

Grace and Amanda. I met Grace my first year at Starfish

Starfish Alumni 

Amanda's foster home is still in operation and it is the hope of Starfish to continue to fulfill her wish of opening an even bigger place and owning her own home so that she could save even more babies! To leave more about Starfish and the work they do in China please visit HERE

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