Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Painting with a Purpose!

Our friends Lori Mattingly and Paula Riggins threw us a Painting Party Fundraiser to finish our funds needed to bring Judah home.  We had about 25 painters at the party and we raised around $500 to finish our funding. It was a very fun night filled with many sweet and generous friends to support this adoption.  Our instructor Paige led us well and was patient to teach us as we went.  This was a fun celebration of Judah to be added to our family as well as preparing for the 4th of July celebration and the freedoms we have in this country. 
We are blessed to have such outpouring of encouragement from friends and friends of friends as we travel this road.  I was able to meet another adoptive mom tonight who will be travel at nearly the same time as our family.  They also will bring home a son to add to their caln.   We are grateful!!!
Thank you, each one who had a part in this night!!!!!

Paige is a bucket of fun!







Lori Mattingly and Paula Riggins pulled this fabulous night off for Judah!

Aimee, Anna and Rebecca

Monday, June 26, 2017

He is The Great God

The Chalk Board that sits in our kitchen is not picture worthy.  I have terrible handwriting.  I don't change it as frequently as I maybe should.  This scripture has been up for awhile, but man has it been an echo from our heart.

The last weeks have been filled with God's goodness and many mercies for this adoption.  Last week we were given Travel Approval.  We found out Drew and Anna will travel in about three weeks.  The dates include leaving July12, meet Judah July17 and come home July 29,2017.  I have booked flights and made some hotel reservations.  I have been compiling all the travel documents they will need in a binder. Lots of busy work to help with the anxious and excited energy!

We are celebrating God's provision to bring Judah home. This week we have a painting party fundraiser with the funds having been dedicated toward Judah's medical exam, passport and tests needed prior to leaving China. We have had great support for participation and know it will be a fun evening celebrating Judah and this adoption.  Our last cost to complete this adoption is covering the airfare.  We thank you, our friends and family, who have cheered us on, supported us with prayer and words of encouragement  and helped us to widdle away at the costs associated with adoption so we can bring Judah home, to his forever family.  Because I know you have invested in Judah and in our family, I know you'll be ecstatic with us to hear that we were chosen for a grant to fund the airfare for round trip tickets to China for this adoption!!!! A Child Waits Foundations has blessed many children, from many countries to come home to their forever families. And they chose us, they chose Judah to be a child they can make a difference for. We are standing in awe at this HUGE gift.  As I was finishing the second phone interview with the Board President of this Foundation, I wasn't expecting an answer at the end of the phone call.  But after 25 minutes or so of enjoyable conversation about this adoption, she said to me "Well, I can tell you that we would be honored to cover these last needed funds for your airfare, 100%" !!!!!!!!! I couldn't believe it.  I cried, I laughed, I kept thanking her...   What another amazing gift.  We give thanks to God for the generosity of others, who desire to see children without families, placed in forever homes, who have sacrificed and donated to help our Judah become part of our family. So many people have said, "I'm sorry, I wish I could have given more", but with so many people giving, it has been enough to move the mountain of finances that comes with adoption. We are immeasurably grateful and praise the One who called us to this child to begin with.

In the good and bad in life, and good and bad will always come... we will be steadfast in our God, as He is Great and Mighty and Awesome!  Not just today because of the goodness we are experiencing, but also in the days that are hard and difficult and overwhelming.  He is good, He provides and we praise Him.

Paul's Prayer for the Ephesians
19and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. 20Now to Him who is able to do infinitely more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, 21to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.…


Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Article 5 and Alligators

Current Adoption Process: Waiting for our Article 5 pickup.
What is Article 5? This is the last step before we get travel approval.  
Definition of Article 5: Article 5 Letter - states that you are approved as a suitable adoptive parent and that the child will be able to enter and reside permanently in the United States. 

The Article 5 Letter takes 2 weeks from drop off to pick up.  Ours was dropped of on 6-5-17 and is planned to be picked up 6-19-17.  After that, we wait for TRAVEL APPROVAL!!!!!!  Which, could come, if it's fast, the end of the week that we receive our Article 5 Letter or the following week.  So, we are SO CLOSE to traveling to China to bring Judah HOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  It's surreal. 

AND, what could I do to help pass the time????  Well, I have made each of our kids a quilt.  I finally picked Judah's pattern and will work on this so it is ready for Drew and Anna to take to him when they travel. All about the alligators, I don't know why, I was just drawn to it, thought it was cute and loved the colors. He will be irresistible all wrapped up in it!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

It's ALL in a name

Judah Rayne XiaTao Ryan

OK, this is the name post.   We've announced "Judah" as soon as we got his referral. We put a lot of thought into naming our kids. At first I always think it's going to be fun, but then I start to feel the stress of "a perfect name".  But as we've considered this sweet boy and what name fits him... we've chosen  what we think, is a perfect name for him.

JUDAH- Actually, my best friend threw out this name early on as a suggestion.  Over time, for me, it just became "the" name.  And when I saw his face; it was a match :)   Biblically, Judah was the 4th son of Jacob and Leah. And he had an older brother named Levi (Levi is our 5th child:) ) So, that's kind of a cool, unplanned similarity.

This was the day we received Judah's referral
RAYNE- This name came out of nowhere but in a powerful way.  It was briefly mentioned in a sermon one Sunday morning... "rain is a symbol of God's blessing in the bible"  It came at a time during this last year of hard waiting in the adoption process and personally struggling with my dad being really ill.  It was a sweet whisper of hope and encouragement to what was feeling like a desperate and desolate time. 

So, I read more about rain in the bible.  I found that it can be a symbol of God's blessing.  It brings refreshment, ensures growth, and promotes fruitfulness. BUT, it can also bring destruction and disaster.  In the bible it is used in both ways.  And I am reminded of the double edged sword of adoption.  It is born out of destruction- the loss of a first family. But it also provides for growth, fruitfulness and life with a new family.  It's a perfect metaphor of adoption.  I hope when Judah is big, he understands that I know he lost something that he was meant to have- his family.  And for whatever reason, that was taken.  But I will forever be honored to have the privilege to call him son and raise him with the same love that I have for his siblings before him. We take joy in knowing we will add him to our family.

XiaTao- The name given to our sweet boy when he arrived at the orphanage.  It means "Summer" and "Big wave".  Which, how perfect is that... he will come home in the heat of the summer, July.  And do you know what kind of splash he is going to make in our family?  Yea, A BIG WAVE!

So, when I think of Judah Rayne XiaTao; I think of hope, blessing in the midst of trial, a sweet biblical heritage and the perfect name for our boy, our 6th child and the caboose to our Ryan Train.

I800 Approval

The next step in the adoption process happened today:)
Today we received word that our I800 application has been approved.  This application was through United States Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS)
The USCIS will determine, based on the information available to them, if the child meets the definition of a Convention adoptee and appears eligible under U.S. law to enter the United States and reside permanently as an immigrant. USCIS will provisionally approve the Form I-800 if the child qualifies for classification as a Convention adoptee and the proposed adoption or grant of custody will meet Convention requirements. 

Today I called and the officer we were assigned said she approved us this morning:)   So, I wait another week and then expect the next step. The United States State Department writes a letter with a special seal.  We wait for that and then also apply for Judah's visa and those documents then get forwarded to U.S. Central Authority’s Approval For Hague Adoption.  Then all those papers are delivered to the Consulate in China and they will approve us for a Consulate date in China and we should get travel approval.  

It's confusing but I work toward each step as it comes, as quickly as I can:)

Today we CELEBRATE  I800 Approval!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

BEARD BE GONE!!!!!!! Fundraiser

to bring Judah home
5/18/17 UPDATE:
This Fundraiser ran from 5-12 to 5-18-17
We are SO grateful to announce that by the graciousness of our friends and family, we are SO much closer to bringing Judah home this summer!  God has provided for this adoption through generous and passionate hearts.  When we started this adoption, we felt strongly compelled to move forward, but as always, the questions of "how" were prevalent.   Because we witnessed, first hand how God provided for our first adoptions, it was easier to trust Him that everything would fall into place to complete this adoption, even though we had no vision of what that would look like.  To you, who have stepped up and seen the need for a child without a family to have one and so generously given to bring Judah home, we are continually humbled by your support. And so grateful for the opportunity to be Judah's family, his forever home.
By your generosity, we raised $3500 of the $5000 toward our final financial needs to complete this adoption. 
We give Thanks to God for all He is and does through this experience.

If you have not seen it yet, we have a little boy that we are bringing home from China.  Judah will become part of the Ryan Clan in, what we hope will be, a short time.  We would love to have you partner with us in bringing him home.  As you can see from the pics I have grown an epic beard.  Aimee would not call it epic.  Scruffy, unruly, unkempt, unsightly… maybe, but not epic.

Given our newly estimated and close travel plans of July, we are working hard to finish funding this adoption with one last “epic” fundraiser. We both have been working extra jobs to fund Judah coming home. And with the end in sight, we are striving to be fully funded before the first of July. To help close the gap, I am offering my epic and awesome beard up for ransom.  The goal is $5000.00 by thursday, May 18 at 6:30 pm.  If we meet the goal, Aimee will get to shave my beard off live on Facebook.

The funds needed to complete the adoption are for the following: Travel Visas, Flights to and from China, In-China travel (planes, trains and automobiles as well as hotels), Adoption Registration, as well as Judah’s Passport, Visa, and Medical Exam.  This brings our need to about $7000 to be fully funded.

2 ways to participate in Beard Be Gone”:

1. LifeSong Account: *for tax deductible gifts
Copy and paste this in your web browser: https://www.lifesongfororphans.org/give/donate/  
UnderPlease direct my donation to”: click ADOPTION, Under “I'd like to give to”: click Adoptive Family
Family Account: 6419  and Family Name: Ryan
 Please complete the rest of the form and click the Give Now button at the bottom.
* If you do this please message me or Aimee or send us an email with the amount that you donated so we can keep a running total to reach our goal. We only get updates on that account every 3-5 days, so if we are unaware, we may not count your donation in the total.  *Individual donations of $50 or more and Yearly totals over $250 will receive a tax-deductible receipt.
                                           2.        PAYPAL
If you do not need the tax break then you can donate via our PayPal account.  
           Cut and paste in your web browser: paypal.me/drewnaimee  
We can check on paypal totals as often as we like.  

We have been so humbled by the support of our friends and family during this process.  Thank you for joining efforts with us to give Judah a family and for him to have the opportunity to know his value and that he is loved in this world. Please continue to pray with us as we graft our lives together. We trust in the path ahead and take one step at a time in faith. #FaithMovesMountains


Friday, May 5, 2017


Meet Judah Ryan 
We are TOTALLY over the moon!  This sweetie turns two this month!  May is SO SPECIAL: Drew and I celebrate our 20th Wedding Anniversary, Anna turns 16, the Littles had their 3rd Family Day, we learned who our baby boy is AND his second birthday is this month!  WOW!!!

Last night we found out his file was locked: basically he is ours:)  And we are aloud to share it with the world!  So world, meet Judah Ryan, our beloved!