I’d rather be at an airport than Lowe’s

I go to Lowe’s at least once a week. These days it is more like several trips a week. I always have a dilemma when shopping without kids. I don’t really want to push a cart for a couple of items, but usually my items are heavy and it makes carrying the little baskets hard. Well, on my most recent trip I decided to go for the little basket…only it wasn’t so little anymore. Upon closer inspection I realized it had a handle that could extend and there were rollers on the bottom. Genius. I may have gotten a few curious looks from other shoppers, but I rolled my little basket with pride.

I pretended I was at the airport and it was luggage.

We are anxiously awaiting news of when we can travel. I keep telling myself it won’t be soon, but I can’t help jumping every time the phone rings. Today is August 1st. It is highly likely we will be in China this month. So many changes headed our way. I’m trying to savor these last days as a family of six, but experience tells me with each kid our family just gets sweeter.

I’m soaking in these days with FireCracker as the youngest in the house.

FireCracker, however, is so anxious for her little sister. She tells everyone about her sister. She showed me a toy cup last night and said, “My baby sister will drop this under my bed. Then I get it. Silly baby sister. Cups don’t go under the bed!” She is still staring at photos of her sister…and talking to the photos.

And teaching her sister in the photos how to make goofy faces.

And lots of kissing on the photos.

So while we are doing our best to savor these days, all of our hearts aren’t fully here.


I haven’t written a whole lot about the preparation we are doing for this adoption. We aren’t going into this with rose colored glasses. By nature, I tend to be a ‘let’s prepare for the worst case scenario’ type. We know there will be struggles and uphill battles. We know our little girl’s world will soon be rocked to the core in a way she is not prepared to deal with right now. We have sought out so many friends that have adopted, were adopted, and are just wise. We’ve read books, read blogs, watch videos…we are doing our best to prepare. There is so much I’d like to say on all that, so many resources I want to share but I am going to save that for another post. I need to compile it all and compile my thoughts.

Regardless of all that is unknown…my heart is in China. My heart is in Oklahoma. My heart is with my family.

This week we got a surprise email with 5 new pictures of our Little One. She is changing so quickly. She looks much older now and is sitting on her own. I can’t wait to share all of her sweetness with you…until then here is a peek of my baby girl sitting up on her own!

Please TA (travel approval) come today! Those little toes need some kissing.

mugs c/o GraySkiesBlue

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  • angie webb - Precious little toes indeed!

  • Steph - We are planning to adopt in the near-ish future. Your description of your daughter’s joy and anticipation suddenly hit me in the gut – that is my DREAM. I’ve been thinking while reading your story that this sounds so hard, so emotionally painful, and maybe I’m not cut out for it. I’m so glad you’re telling the reality of your story and plan to continue in more detail later because it has given me a chance to look at the more realistic, feet-on-the-ground experience. And then you write something like this, your daughter’s words, and I know in my bones this is what we want. Just sharing your beautiful meeting-day and your cuddly little one would have been enough, but personally I needed the real nitty gritty, and it helps me to know what I want deeper and in a more meaningful way than I knew before.

    Thank you very much for the journey you are taking us on, it means more than you could ever expect!

  • Ko - The sweetest little toes ever! Come on TA!!!! And those cups are precious by the way πŸ™‚

  • Beth - Precious little toes. I know exactly how you feel. Praying you get your TA this week!!! Hugs!!

  • kassondra - praying that shes in your arms fast!

  • Nickie - A friend told me about this blog and I checked it out. We are a family of 5, I love photography, decorating (my hubby is actually doing the Home Sweet Home yarn project…man I love him!) but I had no idea about the adoption part of your blog and life. Adopting from China has been on our hearts for some time. We have pictures in the kids rooms of kids from China that they pray for. I walked into my son’s room and the pictures were flipped down. Casually I asked him if there was a reason (was it freaking him out having pics of kids he didn’t know in his room???). He simply told me that means that he has already prayed for them. Needless to say, I look foward to your post and more on adoption!

  • Amy @ PaintWineRepeat - those mugs are adorable! did you make them yourself? Hoping for the TA to come today!!

  • Dawn - Sweet little fingers and tootsies! Praying the approval comes ASAP!

  • Tara A - Ashley, I’m praying that the TA comes today. Her picture is sooo cute. I was at Target and was over by the luggage…..thought about you. Have a great day. Tara

  • Reesa Heilaman - Praying for this wait to be over soon for all of you! God’s timing is always perfect! Everytime your blog pops up in my feed my heart races to hear your news! Can’t wait to see her in your arms!

  • Jenni - I have four kids also and I just don’t know how you juggle all of that AND handle the longing you must have in your heart for your number 5. I give you so much credit and pray for your family daily. Can’t wait to see a famly picture:):)

  • Stephanie - Ashley I am so very excited for your family!!! I LOVE LOVE LOVE the book “The Out -of-Sync Child Has Fun” This book is a must have if your baby girl might have any Sensory Processing suspicions. My son has Sensory Processing problems as well as Apraxia and this book has been my bible!

  • Trish - Praying for a fast and easy adoption of your sweet baby girl! And those mugs are AWESOME!!

  • Beth Gillem - I am so excited for you guys! I read everyday and praying for news soon! BTW, I love those baskets at Lowe’s. A few months ago I took my eighteen month old and he climbed in the basked and I pushed him around in it. He LOVED it. Not sure it was the safest though:) Hope you get the exciting news soon!! Thank you for your blog.

  • Eva - Love those shots of you with Firecracker. πŸ™‚

    And I can’t wait to see her in her big sister role.

  • leishell - Aaaw, hopefully it comes soon. Our neighbor adopted from China twice and told us the kids are always two and older before they come here. She never got a baby. So I’m wondering (hoping they don’t) if they will make you wait that long. So happy for you adopting and expanding your family!

  • Jessica - Oh those little legs! I want to wrap them around me! Er.. Be wrapped around you!!! Praise God for her to be sitting up, too. The babies at the orphanage I visited could not, iy haunts me. One year ago today you posted how God provided for TWO adoptions… Think how far you’ve come… I know it’s not far enough. You’ve endured this trial, you’ve tested your faith, you’re producing perseverance… I pray you can rejoice over ALL His handy work!

  • Jess - My husband was in China last week (Xiamen), and your sweet Little One was on my mind the entire time. Praying you get your TA and make that trip VERY soon!

  • Danielle - Ekkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk, adorable baby toes… may they be tickled by your hands & smooched by your lips REALLY soon.

  • Sadee - The pictures of Firecracker kissing Little One`s photo is priceless. I love how apparent it is that God created her to be a big sister!

  • Amanda - I have been praying for you guys all this time. I find myself mentioning you and how moving your story is quite often. As someone who truly wants to adopt in the future I can only imagine how difficult it is to wait. I will be praying very hard that you receive your TA approval. I got some good news this week and I am hoping that luck moves your way.

  • rachel - hey ashley! i check up on you everyday! but just wanted to let you know that i’m so excited for ya’ll. can’t wait to see the new little one….miss seeing you guys. i’m sure she is just as precious as the rest of your kids:) fj wants me to stop looking at your blog because every time i see your update on the orphanage i’m ready to get on a plane myself as bring them all home:)

  • Nicole - I am praying your TA comes SOON my friend! Oh and new pictures!! Soul food for a mama!

    And just remember, no amount of prepping will really prepare you … you are doing SUCH a good job of being realistic! When you are home with your precious treasure and things are harder than you feel like you can handle, lean on your friends and PRAY. It gets easier and is totally amazing! We are more than one year home now, and I am really getting to the point where I just love where we are!

  • Jenny - can’t wait to see “We’re Going To China” at the top of your blog post!!!

  • lindsey - ahhh! Those sweet little feet! I can’t wait to see her face, but until then I’m prayerfully awaiting your journey with you!

  • Bethany - Those toes do look quite kissable! Praying you get the call soon!

  • Susan - Baby feet! God Bless her! (and all of you)

  • Darcie - You are the sweetest. This little girl doesn’t know what she’s in for! She’s going to be overwhelmed with so much love, she won’t know what to do. What a special gift you are giving her, and what a gift I know she’ll be to your family. Congratulations on the ever-shortening time until you get to meet her face to face!

  • Krista Lund - i am sending “travel” thoughts your way!!!

  • Stoich91 - AGH! TOSIES! And those pix of firecracker are adorbs!

  • amanda - i think firecracker’s love for her baby sister is darling. so excited for your family. many prayers for a speedy TA!

  • kristine - what sweet little toes! so excited for your little girl to be coming home soon.

  • rebekah - I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you sharing your adoption story. I’m single, years away from starting a family, but I have always known I wanted it to be built through adoption. It’s so wonderful to hear the details of yours! She’ll be in your arms before you know it. TA is coming soon!

  • tracy a - this past weekend we had our annual family reunion (jason’s side). i was sitting at the lake, chatting with a cousin, talking about how much we both enjoy your blog. i love that your story, HIS story, is touching so many lives. it was so fun for me to feel connected to her, even though we only meet up about once a year, through you! here’s to hoping that your TA comes today!!

  • Nikki - Hurry up TA!!

  • Emily Morrice - Ashley, I am so excited for you and your family!
    I love the mugs you’ve made. Saw something similar on A Beautiful Mess – a great DIY blog that you’d love if you don’t already know it (http://abeautifulmess.typepad.com)
    Those look like great books you’re reading too. I’ve heard of and plan to read the Connected Child when we adopt, but will look at the others too as I havent heard of them.
    Praying for all of you and LOVE the pic of Little One πŸ˜€

  • Laura J. - Rest up and build up your supply of love to give away. The first weeks are incredibly hard and exhausting. I don’t really tell many people how it was when my daughter came home from Guatemala, and she was in foster care, so it was a bit different. You will give away everything you have inside you-it is totally worth it.

  • Amanda Torres - Those toes all squished under is one of my favorite baby parts. I love the coffee mugs and firecracker looks so much like youngest brother in that top left pic. So crazy!

  • heather - oh, i hope it comes today. those tiny toes are just begging for kisses! xoxo

  • giozi - Is all so close. Love your cups, and I supouse how are you in these days. Love love love to you.

  • Kristin S - Sweet perspective. I have many friends who have adopted. As I read your post, the first thing that came to my mind was our perspective.

    You DO have perspective as one who was/is adopted. What a gift the Lord has given you/us that we have experienced, yet barely understand the depth of, adoption into the family of Christ. Of course your sacrifice for your youngest doesn’t compare to His but she will come to understand the gift. She’ll probably “get it” long before any of us who were bought with a price fully will.

    Thankful for adoption on all levels! Nobody earns that free gift.

  • Kimberly Troth - PRAYING TA is SOON!!! Can’t wait to see more of that little girl πŸ™‚

  • Martina - A few things: 1. I have a picture of a shopping cart at Lowes too – I love the new ones our store has with big flat lower shelf and smaller flat upper shelf – so smart! 2. Your older daughter has the sweetest heart ever. I can’t wait to see pictures of her loving on her baby sister in person! Love the mugs, too. 3. I’m looking forward to hearing about the resources you’ve loved. Karyn Purvis is my hero. I can’t get enough of her knowledge. If you ever have a chance to hear her in person – GO! So good. I was reading Choosing to SEE, specifically the chapter about Diving In/Going Deep, at the moment we got the phone call for our first foster placement, one year ago Saturday. I still love that little girl so much and I pray she’s doing well now. 4. I can relate to the heart-racing freak-out every time the phone rings! Can’t wait to hear more about your adoption journey. I excitedly check Google Reader everyday hoping for an update on Little One.

  • jennie - so excited for your travels! are you guys gonna celebrate a gotcha day each year? we do and it’s always a super special day!!

  • Jenny - I think of your family every day, and I’m so excited for you all! I can’t wait to see your little angel, and to see how your family of 6 becomes a family of 7. She’s got some amazing siblings to help her through the transition! God bless you and your family (whichever continent they’re on!)! πŸ™‚

  • Kerry - Saw the verse on your chalkboard in the background. Made me remember a great CD my kids loved with that scripture set to music. It’s by the Harrow family & is called “God Our Provider”. I bet your kids would like it!

  • Jess - Sweetest toes ever. So glad you got a peek of your Little One…what a blessing. Can’t wait until she is in your arms!!

  • pattilouwho - such a happy little post. i love all of it! πŸ™‚

  • maggie - I can feel your heart…how anxious and ready you are to hop on that plane. I pray the call comes quickly! enough waiting already! lol I can’t wait to hear all about it~ the day you actually see her for the first time will be like non other.
    ps. I thought of you last night while watching those gymnasts~ check my blog if you want….to divert your brain for a bit. πŸ™‚ hugs

  • Suzan - Hi Ashley, I have been reading you blog for awhile now and am so excited for your new addition. I’m a social worker in CA working with adoptive families. I’m glad to hear you are doing some reading. I have one more to add your list. I think it is THE best book to prepare families who are adopting children from congregate care facilities or foster homes. The book is Nurturing Adoptions by Deborah Gray. You can get it on Amazon. Best wishes.

  • Chris - first, i had no idea that Lowe’s little baskets had wheels and an extendable handle….where have i been?

    second, your (for now) youngest daughter is precious. Love how she is lovin’ her new sister.

    third, those toes. adorable. πŸ™‚

  • jenny - i can’t wait for you to get your travel approval! those photos of firecracker looking at her little sister’s photo…just priceless and sooo beautiful! you guys are already amazing as a family of 6 so it can only get better with 7!

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - Praying for you.

  • Claudine - I was wundering…
    what does the poster behind your daughter says!
    If it’s not to personal πŸ˜‰

  • Julia - praying travel comes QUICKLY!!

  • Suzanne W. - Sweet toes!!

  • allison - LOVE “the connected child”!!!!!!!

  • amy jupin - love the mugs, love the faces, love new pics!!
    oh how i can’t wait to see her with her forever family!

  • Meredith Fields Lawler - Love those pictures of Firecracker! There is almost nothing better in this life than the love of a big sister! Baby Girl is very blessed.