I’m leaving on a jet plane…in 2 weeks!!

Guess who….

Guess who is meeting her daughter in 19 days? Oh yea – that would be me! I still have not taken care of getting luggage – guess that will be happening this weekend. Our older two boys are going with us…they are so excited. FireCracker is crazy nuts excited now. She is understanding all the excitement and is ready to kick Chris and I out the door.


I’ve been wanting to share a bunch of links. I know many of you are probably not interested in these, but I also know some of you might be highly interested. These are links to various blog posts that I have found especially helpful as we prepare for travel. If you know someone adopting, several would be good reads for you to learn ways you can support your friends & family. There are a lot of links, but I wanted to record them all in one place for my own reference too!

I do want to point out that most of these posts are not ones that tell the ‘rosy, storybook’ stories of adoption. They are honest, real posts about the hard realities that some, if not many, adoptive families and children face during the early days. There are a million beautiful posts out there regarding the joy of adoption. I hope to share a million of my own beautiful stories with you one day! But, I know parenting has both the joy and the struggle…the struggle is often what makes the beauty shine even brighter. So, I am thankful for those that shared the struggle and the beauty of adoption…

And now onto some links…

This is a series by Love Without Boundaries that we have found invaluable as we prepare for the coming days, weeks and longer:

For families currently in the adoption process:

  • I am the abductor ~ a post on Ordinary Miracles and the Crazy 8 from the possible viewpoint of a child in the first days of an adoption
  • Grief ~ another post from Ordinary Miracles and the Crazy 8 the grief her daughter faced in the early days (be sure to read current posts to see how her daughter is now)
  • Depression, lovely clefts and the ultimate love ~ my friend Angie’s vulnerable account of facing post-adoption depression
  • The Ugly Beautiful Truth ~ answering your child’s hard questions by Stefanie of Ni Hao Ya’ll
  • Irises for Baby L: thoughts from his foster mom ~ this is an article by my friend Suzanne of Love Without Boundaries. She writes from the perspective of a domestic foster mom, but I think it would be a great read for any adoptive parent or foster parent
  • And my friend Emily – who just has lots of honest posts related to the bonding and attachment process

If you have a friend or family member adopting:

  • An open letter ~ this is an “open letter” written from an adoptive mom to her friends and family sharing ways that they can support her family now that the “honeymoon phase” of their adoption was over
  • Family & Friends “Dos and Don’ts” ~ similar to the post above, tips for understanding the transition
  • After the Airport ~ Jen Hatmaker’s popular post regarding life after the big airport moment when a family arrives home

Well, those are a lot of hard to read posts. Some might call them ‘negative’, but I owe a debt of gratitude to the women who vulnerably shared. Their willingness to be honest allows me to prepare for what could be ahead. Their honesty means I can be a better mom because of the wisdom I’ve gleaned from amazing women. To them, I say “thank you.”

Oh, sweet baby girl, am doing all I can for you now. And I am coming soon.


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  • Ryan - *super happy excited dance, super happy excited dance*

    I can’t imagine how crazy excited you must be! I can’t wait to see the first pics of Little One in your arms! Lots of love to you guys!

  • windie - yay! congratulations! so excited for you! I have really enjoyed reading your journey. thank you for sharing it with us!

  • Heather - I am bawling! Seriously. So, so happy for you. I shouted, Yay! and Praise The Lord! When I saw your post. Now, I’ll be praying for your safety as you go to bring your precious little one home. Blessings!!

  • jenny - WOO-HOO!!!!!!! Oh my goodness- I am SO excited for your family! Can’t wait to see photos of your sweet baby girl!
    Congratulations! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Mona - Wonderful news! Rejoicing for your Little One and for your entire family. Will be praying for safe, stress-free travel and for a beautiful, precious time of adjustment and transition for all 7 Campbells!!

  • Angie Webb - Congratulations!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Steph - Ok you have to stop making me cry! Mom is coming to get you little one, and you have no idea how comfortable, cozy and LOVED you are about to become. Hallelujah!!!

  • Anna Joy - I am so so so happy for you! I can’t believe the time is almost here! Praying for all of you to have a safe trip.

  • Jessica T. - I’ve been following your blog for awhile and rarely comment (probably should do that more)
    Just wanted to say how excited I am for you. What an answer to prayer! God is good!

  • Steph - PS I sort of love that you ended up not sharing your girl’s picture until you hold her, but I want to ask before you get TOO busy, do you think one day eventually you will show us the pictures of her that you were sent? I can’t wait to see her in your arms but would love to see the precious photos sent to you from far away that you have been praying over all this time. So just so you know, if you feel like sharing those, they are not boring to us we would love to see what you’ve been dreaming over!

  • Catherine - I’m so excited for you and your family! I have tears running down my face and the thought of you finally getting to hold that sweet baby girl. Can’t wait to see some sweet snuggly pictures. Congratulations!

  • Katrina - Congratulations Ashley! I am so happy for you and your family. I bet your tunny is full of butterflies. Two weeks will absolutely fly by in the blink of an eye.

  • Katherine - whoooooohoooooo!! God bless your family! very very exciting!

  • Michelle - We are so excited for your entire family to finally be joined under one roof. Good luck on the luggage hunt. In the meantime, is there anything that we (all friends & supportive blog readers) can do to help your family in preperation for you trip and/or your return home. I am sure there are many people that want to do something helpful for your family but, don’t know exactly what type of help/assistance you may or may not need.

  • Kara M - I am so excited for you!! Can’t wait to see pictures of your complete family together at last!!

    I pray God’s grace covers you during this journey to China and home! Thanks for sharing your journey with us.

  • Kari Signe - I am so happy for you and your family! Congrats!! You are soooo close to having your daughter in your arms.

  • Jessica P - 19 days!!! Praise God! Will be praying for your trip, your family, and your sweet Little One! We are so thrilled that she’ll be with you soon!

  • Jess Z. - Very excited for you! Will you be blogging at all while you are there? I can understand why you wouldn’t if you don’t ๐Ÿ™‚ Just curious. In these next two weeks, the nights will be slow with anticipation but the days will fly by all at once with so much to do, and soon you’ll be with her! Yay!

  • emmybrown - SO EXCITED FOR YOU!!!! (and great list of links….thanks!)

  • tracy a - 19 DAYS!! I am making a paper chain for you today, so we can count down as a family…oh how I look forward to this countdown of my down! So very excited for you, Chris, and the kids! Baby girl has no idea the amount of love the ocean has withheld. 19 days and then no longer….

  • autumn - whooooo hooooo! I’m so happy for you guys! yeahhhhh!

  • Leslie - Ashley, I’ve been praying for you and your family along your adoption journey and I’m so happy that you are almost there. Congratulations!

  • Susan - Woohoo! So excited for this blessed news! If you have BigLots stores around there, check one out for luggage. They had two nice sets in their ad this week.
    May God bless you and yours as you prepare for this wonderful time.

  • Lexie - So full of joy for you! Safe travels-and can’t wait to see your newest little sweetheart united with her forever family!

  • erin - So excited for you, your family and your new daughter. She is one luck girl to be so loved and to come into such an amazing family.

  • Alisha Van Winkle - omg! I’m so excited for you and your beautiful family! 19 days! I know it still seems like an eternity, but it will be here soon and then she will be yours to hold, love and cherish forever! Congratulations, I can’t even imagine how overjoyed you are. I’m so happy for you and your littlest girl! My prayers are with your family as you continue on this journey.

  • Natalie @ TheShadyAcre - I was hoping for your good news this morning! I’m so excited for you and your family! I know there are going to be struggles and difficult days ahead, but I also know that your story has a happy ending–which will really be the beginning. My prayer for your family is that your baby daughter will make the transition as smoothly as possible.
    Thank your for the links, too!

  • Shanna - This warms my heart! I’m so excited for your family! Ok…so will you be visiting her and bringing her back or you will go back later to get her? I think you have told us the process before but I can’t remember….maybe I’m too excited to remember! haha ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Mikki - Congratulations Ashley and your beautiful family!! I am so excited for you guys and so happy after following your blog for so long to see you get to this point! ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Christina C - So excited for you and your family! Hope the next 19 days fly by! I watched a documentary a few months ago that followed a few families on their journey to Chia to get their little girls, it made my heart swell. I know I don’t know you but the whole time I was watching the documentary I couldn’t help but think of you and your family. So so happy and excited for you to finally have your little girl!

  • Julie B - You’ll be on that plane in no time!! So happy for you and your family! Whoa you’re going to be a family of 7!! That sounds so cool doesn’t it?!

  • Sarah W. - So crazy excited for you!! YAY!!!!

  • Tricia - Ahhh!!! Congratulations to your dear, sweet family! Thank you for continuing to share your journey. May God continue to bless your family’s path.


  • Ruth @ Living Well Spending Less - Oh Ashley, yay yay YAY!! Couldn’t be more excited for you. Congratulations!

  • Shanalea - How exciting! Praying that all will go well as you travel the globe to find the one that God has given you to care for.

  • Alice H - So happy for you. Thank you for sharing all the links. Some sad stories, but with happy endings. I pray that things will go beautifully for your family.

  • Kimberly - Thank you for posting these stories – I so enjoy reading your blog. It’s such an inspiration for others.

  • Corinne - My heart sings for you and your family!! Can’t wait to see pictures!

  • Meg - Totally random, but if y’all have chic fil a’s around , go in and tell them you’re adopting in China and they’ll send like a whole case of those awesome kid placemats with you. Our friends found that out when they adopted from Colombia!

  • Lauren - Wow, those links are really eye-opening.

  • Katie - SOO Happy for you! I watch your blog closely via Facebook, and this is the first comment I’ve left… SO excited to “meet” your daughter! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Linda - Congratulations! Looking forward to seeing all the pictures, God bless you!

  • Brandi - Congratulations! I remember that call so well. Remember to breathe. Try to enjoy the trip and soak it all in. You’ll be in my prayers.

  • Ali - Hooray, congrats!!! This is so exciting! I can’t imagine how you must feel, on the brink of going to meet your baby girl. Can’t wait to hear about your journey!! Safe travels!

  • Kim - So unbelievably excited for you and your family!!!

  • sarah k - Your last line has me in tears.

    So happy for all of you–and your tiny girl.

    Someday I hope we will be on our own adoption journey, and we have friends who currently are. Thanks for the links.

  • Mariana - hi ashley,
    i have been following your blog for some time now. i don’t remember how i stumbled upon it. initially, i fell in love with your photography, but then i was drawn to your adoption story. my husband and i are adopting 2 children from china. we already have a little son there, and we are waiting for a referral for a little girl and then we can go get them both. i can NOT wait for that day!! i am praying for you and am so excited for you and your family!

  • Marykay - Congratulations!!!! Such amazing news!!!! Thanks for the links too, I will be pinning this post for future reference

  • lyn - I am crying, I am so happy for you!

  • Amy at Fig Milkshakes - SOOoOOo Happy for you! – AND for US. The rest of us get to see her soon, too!

  • Midwest Magnolia - Melissa Lewis - Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh! No words…pure excitement for y’all!!!!!

  • Sharon - I’m crying like a baby!!! I’m SO excited for you all!!! AND as I was clicking through the links…. I found out that families with 4 or more children CAN adopt a special needs baby from China!!!! I’m freaking out!!!! My heart is beating wildly! There is HOPE!!!

  • Debbie Jelier - Congratulations on your TA!! So exciting!! We wish you all the best as you travel with your oldest boys to get your youngest.

  • Annieg - Oh my gosh!!! I just started following your blog so of course to me it seems crazy fast. I know for you it’s been a long struggle. Regardless… CONGRATULATIONS!

  • Amber McGinnis - God is good! I know I don’t know you in real life but I’m very excited for your family and to be introduced to your little girl! Best of luck in the next and final process!

  • emily (justem) - your last sentence made me cry. ๐Ÿ™‚
    so happy for you!!

  • Georgia - Doing the happy dance with you! Love the “if you have a friend or family member adopting” links. I would love to adopt or foster, but we aren’t in a position to do that. So I want to do everything I can to support those around me who are. I certainly don’t want to do anything to hinder them or make it harder. Thanks for the good information.

  • Kristin S - I was thinking how crazy small the blog world makes the world.

    We’ve never met.

    i don’t even know what your voice sounds like.

    Some of my dear friends are smack in the middle of a domestic adoption of a sibling set. The kids arrived at their home yesterday. What a joy to pray for them in this LONG and painful process.

    While praying for them I found myself praying for Firecracker. I don’t even know you guys! She’ll be the sweetest big sister but her world is going to be rocked. I don’t know why, but the Lord just prompted me to pray for her heart as she adjusts to being a big sister – so glad she’s had practice as “big cousin”.

    It is a joy to pray with and for your family too!

  • Shelley G - Hooray!! Now that is a countdown to be excited about! Holy cow! Counting down with you…praying for your travels. And thanks for the great links!

  • Andy - i am so excited for you guys. prayers for safety and huge hugs for your girl when she is in your arms. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • RachelSD - Yay, yay, yay!!!

  • Jessica - I have been following your blog every day for the past two years. What an incredible family you have! And it continues to grow! I am so happy that you and your family get to finally hold and love on your youngest daughter!

    Much love to you and your whole family!

  • Jen Daily - Woo hoo! I am so thrilled for you and your family!
    And thank you for the list of links. As someone who is considering adoption someday, I’ve always wanted to email you and ask if you had any links to share. So truly, thank you ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Rose E. - EEEEE! So exciting! ๐Ÿ˜€

  • lisa - Congratulations!!! How wonderful and exciting for you and your family!!!

  • Lori - Beyond excited for your beautiful family.

  • Julie - YEAH! So very happy for you and your family. Just started reading your blog a few months ago and am head over heels in love with it! You have such sweet ideas. As an adoptive mom of four, I completely understand your sorrow and joys! God Bless!

  • Stacy - Hi Ashley, I am so very excited to hear that you will be traveling to bring your daughter home soon! Congratulations! I am actually in the process of adopting internationally also (14 months into the process), the wait can be unbearable at times! So glad your wait is almost over! Thank you for posting the links, I’m sure they will be very helpful!

  • Amanda - Congratulations!!! What wonderful news!

  • Dawn - Oh my goodness! CONGRATULATIONS! Wishing you a safe trip. Can’t wait to see pictures of Little One!

  • AUDREY - Hi !
    Excuse me for my English, it is not very good, I send you this message from France, I never write on your blog but I follow your post every day since one year (when your firecraker broke his leg). What on your blog ? yours photos, they they are really so beautiful.
    Today I decided to write you because even I don’t understand everything in your post, it’s such a great day for you that I want to say to your family congratulations, this little one arrives in a very beautiful family, with lot of love and care.
    So happy for you

  • Sherry Eckblad - That is so amazing and I feel as if I know her already by just reading your blog on a daily basis. What a wonderful trip for yout two oldest boys as well. A memory of a lifetime.

  • Eadaoin - This is such wonderful news! I’ve been following the adoption story on your blog, and felt like I was waiting along with you all this time. You’ve been so articulate throughout the whole affair, it almost makes me feel part of the process as one of your readers :). Best of luck on your exciting journey and beginning a new family life with your daughter. I know she is one lucky little girl, with a whole family already loving her and waiting to have her in their lives.

  • Serene - Congratulations! I’m so happy for you. It must be utterly wonderful to finally be going after this long wait.

  • Debbie C - I am so happy and excited for you Ashley! I can only imagine the emotions you must be feeling. Can’t wait to see the pictures!

  • Caroline - Oh happy day!! Got chills reading this! Thrilled for you all! YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Kassie - Ive got chills and goosebumps and warm fuzzy feelings all going on at once!! So excited for your family to be together and for all the pieces to fall into their places. Xoxo

  • Amanda - Thank you, Ashley, for being so open to sharing your family’s journey. I really couldn’t be more excited for you! Congratulations!

  • BethAnne - Oh, I am in tears – I am so happy and excited for you! I can’t imagine the joy and excitement you and your family must be feeling!

    I hope these two weeks go by quickly so that you can finally squeeze her tight and love on her.

  • Harriet - Praising God! Such wonderful news. Praying that the next 2 weeks go by fast. Your sweet girl will be in your arms before you know it! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • kelly - Beyond THRILLED for you and your sweet family. Can’t wait to see more pictures of her precious face. And by the way, I love this.
    “But, I know parenting has both the joy and the struggleโ€ฆthe struggle is often what makes the beauty shine even brighter.” True in parenting and true in life. Excited to hear about your journey!

  • Dawn Ritchie - HOORAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • nancy - SO very very excited for you! The days are finite now and you can count them off. It’s the ride of a lifetime.
    Blessings for you all!

  • Kelli - Hubby thinks I’m nuts. To tears excited for a strangers joy. Men can sometimes be so foolish. My three sensitive boys are getting a nice lesson on the difference of happy tears and sad tears. Although, I suspect they think I’m a little nuts too. Experiencing your wait with you gave me a deeper understanding of the concept of patience. Thank you so much for sharing a window of your life with us.

  • Rose E. - Thank you so much for posting links to so many God-believing-fearing-loving-knowing women. I read and read and it was just what I needed.

  • Katie - YAY! Such wonderful good news! Thanks so much for sharing your happiness with all of us! Congratulations! And best of luck with the luggage hunt! What happy shopping that will be! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Katie O - http://www.nohandsbutours.com/ I just ran across this site tonight and thought of you. You may already have seen it, but if not, I thought it might be a good one to add to your list.

  • Holly - Elated that your family will be complete soon! Praying for all of you!

  • Erina - Yay!!! I’m so happy for you Ashley. Happy packing and traveling!

  • Amy L - So very, very happy for you!!!!!!

  • Shannon - Gordman’s is an awesome place to buy luggage. We moved overseas a year ago and bought 10 piece of luggage there. It’s not super great quality, but it gets the job done. Happy travels!

  • Izzy - WOW! You have made me very excited for you!

  • giozi - 19 days is nothing. Ohhh I’m so happy for you !!!

  • Shauna - YAY!!!!! Safe travels

  • Jade - God is so Good!!!! so happy for you guys, cant wait to see pictures of your precious little girl when you bring her home. Praying for a safe journey for you all. God bless ๐Ÿ™‚

  • MixedMolly - It’s so close now! I love that other women are willing to share the tough side of adoption, the struggles and the trials. It is hard and outsiders often do not understand or comprehend the reality. Happy luggage hunting!

  • Kathryn - Awesome News. What an amazing testimony of God’s goodness. xx

  • Seamingly Sarah - hip hip hurray for you and your family! just reading along with the blog i know how long you’ve yearned for this. good luck!

  • elizabeth - i’m tearing up at such JOYFUL news!! while my heart is bubbling up inside for you ~ i’m overjoyed to know that YOUR little one will *feel* SO LOVED & WANTED!! to FINALLY be a part of a family. HER family! *her* life will forever change!!
    waiting for pictures of her in your arms ~ eeeeeeeeee!!!!

  • Jenny B. - Wow! I’m so excited for you! I just went through and read a few of the posts you linked, and wow… I was in tears reading the two from “Ordinary Miracles.” I wish I had some really encouraging words to say as you get ready to go. All I can say is that you know that God is in this and is with you, and He will be there every step of the way.

  • dani r - i’ve been following your adoption story the whole way through & this news has just made me so happy that i have tears in my eyes! how wonderfully exciting for you & your family! hoping the next few weeks are filled to the brim with excitement & love & happiness …

  • Stephanie - Ahhhhhhhh I’m so excited for you!

  • jen - Wow..I know nothing about adoption. I read all of those posts you linked to – very informative and also quite saddening. I am so happy for your family to finally have a date set! Looking forward to reading about your journey!

  • jennycain - I’m so excited for you! I’ve been meaning to tell you that we visited one of the healing homes this summer while we were in China … because of your initial post on Love Without Boundaries! We loved every minutes spent with those precious babies. Here is a link of our blog post on it, with lots of adorable pictures!


  • Suzie - I don’t think I have ever commented on here before, but I have been reading and loving your blog for a long time and I have been with you through your adoption process. I just wanted to say how so excited, delighted and happy I am for your whole family to hear that you are about to head off to pick up your new addition. I have never met you, but I know that that little girl has been given such a wonderful gift of a new life and is definitely very lucky to become part of such a beautiful family. Wishing you all the best of luck with your trip – I am sure it will be the most amazing feeling when you get to hold your new daughter in your arms.

  • What To Expect When……Adopting? « Red Thread of Love - […] Well, those are a lot of hard to read posts. Some might call them โ€˜negativeโ€™, but I owe a debt of gratitude to the women who vulnerably shared. Their willingness to be honest allows me to prepare for what could be ahead. Their honesty means I can be a better mom because of the wisdom Iโ€™ve gleaned from amazing women. To them, I say โ€œthank you.” http://ashleyannphotography.com/blog/2012/08/08/guess-who-is-getting-on-a-jet-plane-in-2-weeks/ […]