Thursday, September 27, 2012

Ian's Room With The Toy Box

It is hard to believe that 2 weeks from tonight we will be heading to Tampa to begin our Journey! Soon...very soon...this new room will be filled up with the cutest little boy! What a blessing to our family!

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Blessed with Pictures AGAIN!!!!

Today I received more photos from Kathleen who is with her new son in China and coming home soon!  In addition, I finally received the party pictures for Ian's "Forever Family Party" that we ordered for him.   Here are a few of my favoites....

Saying good bye to his friend...

 This is the cake they chose for him as his "Forever Family" party cake.  I am not crazy about the "Pleasant Goat" but he seems happy with it.

Our sweet boy...

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Asking for Prayer

The below letter was sent out to my coworkers on Friday, but I wanted to share it with as many people as possible since the purpose is to get people praying for our coming weeks.


Dear Fellow Faculty, Church Family, and Friends,

Some of you who know me pretty well are already aware of a major life change occurring in my family very soon. Back in January of this year, after I successfully completed my degree at UCF, God placed a plan in front of my husband Jeff and me. We were not looking for any drastic changes to our life. On the contrary, we were looking forward to life calming down a bit at that point.

God had been blessing our family financially during the previous 6 years when the economy was getting worse and worse. We knew there was something more we were supposed to be doing, but we did not know what it was. Then one day, one of the moms at the studio where our girls dance approached me about the idea of adopting. She sent me this video:

which broke my heart and changed our lives forever. When I spoke to Jeff and asked him about his feelings on adopting, his reply was, "That's something I have actually thought about for a long time." As it turned out, over the previous year or more, both Jeff and I were touched every time Pastor Ray talked about orphans and adoption, but we never spoke to one another about it. Ten years ago when we made a decision to stop having children after Emmy was born (when I was almost 40 years old), we said we could always adopt later if we wanted a boy. Jeff and I further discussed the idea of adoption and said due to our lifestyle and ages, we would consider adopting if the child was a boy with only minor special needs and in the age range of 4-6 years old. I shared our conversation with our friend Erin and within a week, on February 8th, an email arrived with the subject "Had to Send"...

These 2 photos and his story were in it...

As God would have it, He presented to us a precious little boy living on the other side of the world without a family. He was abandoned in a bus station in Hengyang, Hunan Province, China, when he was around 2 years old. His name was made up . . . his birthday is made up. . . As soon as we saw the photos, we KNEW this was our son. We prayed and prayed, and we had the deacons at church pray with us, and God sent us clearly visible signs that adopting this sweet little boy was HIS PLAN for our family. On February 23rd, we sent our LOI (Letter of Intent to adopt).

Throughout the entire process, God has expedited the wait. While some people wait more than a year or 18 months for an adoption, this adoption has flown by, and we will be meeting our son in less than 8 months from the start of it! Some people wait 4-6 months for a home study; ours was done in 3 WEEKS!! Some people wait 126 days for their LOA (Letter of Authority) from China; ours was received in just 53 DAYS!! Every wait for us has been faster than normal. We are blessed, and it is more than evident that God wants this sweet child here with us!

So . . . that's the story in a nutshell. Three (3) weeks from TODAY, the Jekabsons family will be flying out of Tampa to go get our new son and brother, Yang Liu Mu, to be adopted as Ian Liumu Jekabsons (nickname "MuMu"). He is registered for Kindergarten and will start school here with Mrs. Huey on October 29th.

I share all of this with you because we need your prayers more than anything else!! These next few weeks of preparation will be exciting, nerve-wracking, scary, and wonderful. Our girls, Sarah (13) and Emmy (10) have never flown, and Jeff hates to fly, but in addition to giving up his 'man cave' to create his son's bedroom, he is making this trip with joy in his heart. We have seen other families go to China and return with no problems. We have heard of families who get sick over there. We have seen families come back sick. We have seen families struggle with the trip. We don't know how Ian will react to us. He has a care package from us with a letter and a photo album of our family and home. He is supposedly being prepared for us. He was just recently told we are coming and that he finally has a family. He has lived there for 3 1/2 years.

We humbly request you pray for our family for the next month. We will fly out on Oct. 12th. We will meet Ian on Oct 15th. We will sign the adoption papers on the 16th. We will obtain his visa on the 24th, and we will be home around midnight on the 25th. We will be traveling with 2 suitcases of baby blankets for the orphanage and a suitcase being filled by Emmy's 5th grade class (Mr. Goh) with donations and letters for Ian's friends.

If you feel led, please visit our blog and follow our journey. As long as technology cooperates, I plan to update daily with stories and photos. Last night I posted new videos received from the mom that met him a couple of weeks ago and actually told him about us! He is so sweet! I guarantee he'll make you smile. Thank you in advance for being a part of our family's adventure.

Love & Blessings,

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Ian Eating Lunch on 9/20/12

Thank you to another mom, Kathleen, who visited ICC and took pictures of our little man!   We are so blessed to have received so many pictures of our son over the past 7 months!  The good news is many families have gone to ICC to adopt their children.  The bad news is Ian keeps losing his friends.  But not for long!!   Get ready MuMu… we are coming soon!!!  20 more days till take off!!!!


Baby Blankets for the Orphanage

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Beth with our Ian and her precious Joy

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

A Special Gift!

This video was sent to me tonight by the sweetest mom who was visiting the orphanage a couple of weeks ago when she picked up her sweet little girl.  She told him to say "Hi Baba and Mama" and HE DID!  It's quick and softly spoken, but sooooo sweet!!!  LOOK AT HIS SMILE!!!   Apparently this little girl in the video with him, was crying and Beth said "He had just hauled her over to that side of the room and she was crying.. And then he loved on her! It was very sweet. He is a love!!!"  I can't wait to hug on this little cutie pie!!!  21 days and counting!!!!  Just got another one from Beth... had to add it below... 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

CA Received This Morning!

This is a photo of the official TA - Travel Approval which arrived via FEDEX tonight.  This morning we received our CA date of 10/23... Tickets are booked and paid for! 22 days to take-off! I can't believe the time has come for us to make our trek across the world! Thank you Lord Jesus for this blessing to our family!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

We Have TA!!!! And....Ian's Finding AD

In only 6 days wait, we have TA!!!! As we await our Consulate Appointment date, here is a wonderful gift I received today from the sweet person who connected us to our boy back in February. This is has FINDING AD. He was such a beautiful baby! Just 3-1/2 weeks and we could be leaving to get him!!! Thank you Lord!!!!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Officially Waiting For TA

According to our adoption agency yesterday our Article 5 was picked up and we are officially awaiting TA. TA means Travel Approval. We will hopefully have travel approval in the next 2 weeks. After that we will request a consulate appointment for Oct. 23rd. Once that is approved we will be able to purchase our airline tickets. These next weeks should be a whirlwind for our family. We are so excited and anxious and just can't wait to meet our son and brother. Please keep our family in your prayers and especially our newest member... Ian (MuMu) as he waits for us to go get him and ICC prepares him for his adoption. Please pray for a smooth transition for him.

God bless you all.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


WHAHOOOOO!!! Confirmation received... Our boy received his care package with our letter and photos, toys etc. and he is HAPPY and "looking forward to us coming to get him"!!!! I am one OVER THE TOP happy mama right now!!!! Hopefully just 5 more weeks till we get there!


Saturday, September 1, 2012

6 Weeks and Counting...

Whewwww... I have survived the first 2 weeks of school with the most insane schedule. Praise God my boss has agreed to remove a few classes from my schedule and give them to the other Art teacher.  Hopefully by this time next week, I'll only be teaching 23 classes instead of 28.   Time will tell. 

Meanwhile, this morning I'm actually getting to kick back and relax for a short bit before I have to go to work tonight for AV duty at church.  As I'm sitting here with my feet up, sipping my coffee and catching up on my Secret Pal's blog story of her homecoming with her beautiful little girl, I'm realizing that just 6 weeks from today we could be landing in Ch*na!!!!  The reality is starting to hit!   6 weeks is NOT a very long time!  I'm thinking I have a great deal of organizing to do for this trip in the next few weeks. I haven't even begun to create a packing list, we have to visit our doctors for shots and antibiotics to take with us, I have to pack up the beautiful blankets that have been made and donated for me to deliver to the orphanage and I have to find the best airfare rates I can.   YIKES... and we don't even have luggage yet!!! The time is just sneaking up on us!  

Meanwhile, we are waiting to hear if Ian has received his care package from us.  More than the cake party and toys, I'm concerned about the letter and photo album reaching him.  I want him to start to get to know us.  We have been sent photos, videos and updates about him and even little tidbits about his personality, but he knows nothing about us at all.  I'm trying to imagine his reaction and what will be going through his mind as he learns from the caregivers about us.  We have no control over how they will prepare him for us, although our understanding is that his facility is very good at preparing the children for their forever families.  But the anxiety filled questions are still in my mind... Will he be happy and excited about meeting us and moving to America?  Will he be scared and apprehensive?  Will he run to our arms when we see him or will he scream in fear?   I can't wait to meet him and hold him.  I can't wait to see him with his two big sisters who have been loving and adoring him from afar.  I have a fairy tale picture in my mind of how the first meeting will go on "Gotcha Day", but being a somewhat logically minded person, I also know it could go completely different when the time comes. 

This would be a time that I no doubt have to just sit back and put my trust in God that He has ordained this whole thing for our family and He has only the best planned for us, as it says in Jeremiah 29:11 - "For I know the plans I have for you, "declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."  In that promise I will stand as I sign off this blog this morning and focus on the things I can do and change, rather than the things I have no control over.

Have a blessed day my friends,