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Black and White Wednesday – “Travel”

A few months ago, as we knew we were getting awfully close to receiving our referral, we needed to figure out how we were going to handle travel to China.

I do remember asking many people their thoughts on this subject. Should we take the kids, should we leave them at home. Do we take one without the other… on and so forth.

Well, from a financial standpoint we decided taking the entire family was just out of the question. Not to mention that we were not sure how Sarah would do on a trip like this. We know at times it can be stressful and we could be dealing with a new baby that is grieving terribly. So we were pretty quick to say we would leave the kids at home and just Pat and I would travel……

But as time went on and this adoption became a reality, we had to make another very tough decision.

After a long heart to heart, Pat and I decided that it was best for our family if only one of us traveled to China, while the other one stayed at home to take care of both Nick and Sarah.

So I will be traveling to China and Pat will be staying here with the kids……. I know he has to be feeling a little disappointed, but we both know that in the end this is the best option for our particular circumstance.

The day after we made this decsion, I was talking to my friend Marla and told her I was going to China by myself. She said, “WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY YOURSELF” I said, I am going to travel alone.

I went on to explain why we made the choice and she listened intently.

A few hours later, I receieved an email from her…… She had met her husband for lunch that day and told him about our decision.

Since they had traveled to China twice to complete the adoptions of both of their beautiful girls, they had lots of experience and knew exactly what to expect on a trip like this. While they were talking, even though it can be done and a lot of people do it successfully, they both felt it was a gamble to go on a trip like this completely alone. They explained that there were many times that you could use an extra set of hands……. and what if I happened to get sick while I was there. Who would take care of the baby? All very valid questions.

After explaining some of their concerns, she went on to say that she would be willing to be my Travel Partner and Roommate for the two weeks I needed to be in China…..she was telling me she would go with me to bring home our little girl. I almost couldn’t believe my eyes….. I don’t think I finished reading the complete email and I was already dialing her number to see if she was serious……

YES…. she was serious alright!

She had already discussed it with her husband and he felt that it was a great idea.

I was so excited……. I think I continued to ask her if she was really serious for the next 4-6 weeks, because I just could not believe that someone would be generous enough to make such a huge commitment and sacrifice by leaving her own family for two weeks.

Pat and I were both completely blown away and so touched by the offer and after weeks of me “double checking” that she was not pulling my leg, Marla and I started discussing the trip in great detail.

Of course I am sad that Pat will not be by my side to meet Reagan for the first time in China, but given the circumstances, I couldn’t be happier to have such an amazing lady and very special friend with me every step of the way on this incredible journey.

Marla and Me BW
Marla, Derek, and the 4 J’s will always hold a special place in our hearts…….. as far as we are concerned, they are family…..and we will never be able to express our gratitude for all that they have done. Love you guys!!

Whatch you talking about 3 BLOG

Now for the big question that everyone is asking.

When are we going to travel to China to bring this angel home?

We don’t know yet….

Hoping and praying it will be early October, but only time will tell.

We might be delayed because of some upcoming holidays and a big trade fair that takes place in Guangzhou.

If that is the case, it will be late October, early November and Sarah will not be the only one sporting a pouty face. I will be pouting right along side of her:(

I’ll keep everyone posted as we get new information, updates…..and if by chance a few more pictures come our way:)

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  • Kristen - Sounds like you have amazing friends! So important.

    I hope you don’t have to wait longer than October (though that must already seem so far away as is). I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you guys.ReplyCancel

  • Kristen - Yikes, my first link was my old link so I reposted. Hopefully you can delete my first (and old) link. SORRY about that!!!ReplyCancel

  • Life with Kaishon - Such a good friend.
    I had no idea about all your sweet baby has gone thru. When I read your first post today Lisa, I couldn’t stop crying.

    I can’t wait for you to meet your little girl. She is beautiful in every way. I will pray you get to travel in October. Filled with excitement for you.ReplyCancel

  • Gail - I think Marla going with you is the best situation ever, Lisa!!! She’s btdt and she’ll take good care of you and miss Reagan!!! What a dear friend to you she is.

    Hoping your travel turns out to be sooner than later. The real journey will be starting very soon!



  • Wanda - Lisa, you are surrounded by angels. I did the first trip to China alone – and you could do it too of course, but what a blessing Marla will be for you. (And think of all the great pictures you’ll have to boot!!)

    Wishing for a very speedy TA. I’m hoping even for the end of Sept.

    Love this pouty face of Sarah’s. Such a doll. Can’t wait to see her smiling when she sees her little sister.


  • Maryvel Friesen - How wonderful to be able to count with a true friend like that! You having been blessed in so . . . many ways! All the best to you as plan your trip to China to bring home your sweet little angel! So happy for you!!ReplyCancel

  • Kim - AMAZING lady that is going with another AMAZING lady..
    I am soo happy for you ..
    I soo hope I get the chance to go and I have an amazing friend with me..
    You are blessed..
    love you ..ReplyCancel

  • Marla - First off, you’re friend has a great name. Second off, she sounds like a GREAT lady! Congrats, again.

    Marla @ http://www.asthefarmturns.wordpress.comReplyCancel

  • Just Bits and Pieces - How Amazing that your friend will be going with you!! And what a lovely photo of the two of you! And Sarah’s lips…..oh my!!! Sweet!ReplyCancel

  • Ellie - I’m so happy for you – I can’t imagine doing it alone! You will be able to really enjoy this experience and oh my! what an amazing bond you will have with Marla after this trip!ReplyCancel

  • China Dreams - Glad you won’t be alone. It is daunting. My daughter and I traveled in October-were able to fly in October 10, after the holidays, so October is not out of the question.ReplyCancel

  • Donna - What you’re about to go through in China is so special. How wonderful to have a capable and competent EXPERIENCED friend along for this part of your journey. Of course, it would have been great if Daddy could be there but this really is an awesome plan B!

    You guys are going to attract A LOT of attention! Two drop-dead gorgeous blond women and a sweet little Chinese baby girl! I’m absolutely thrilled for you and excited for Marla too!

    I can’t wait!!!


    Our Blog: Double Happiness!ReplyCancel

  • Kayce - What an incredible blessing for all of you! I know it must be so hard to know that Pat wont be there physically but he will be there in sprit and in heart! Marla is definitely an angel! I can’t wait to see your adventures in China!!ReplyCancel

  • Ewa - It’s great to have friends like that!ReplyCancel

  • Melanie - That’s the sweetest thing ever! I hope you have news soon!
    I participated this week took, I’m proud of myself hahaReplyCancel

  • Love Letters To China - Oh how I hope you can travel sooner rather than later. That little girl needs her Mamma in a bad way! So happy Marla is going to be traveling with you. Can’t wait to hear how you ladies gather crowds in China. They are going to think they have some beautiful “movie stars” visiting them. You girls look amazing in this photo!


  • Traci - What incredible news! Just like your girlfriend’s wonderful offer, great things will happen and it will all come together!ReplyCancel

  • Sarah Halstead - She is such a great friend. I hope you sare able to bring Reagan home soon.ReplyCancel

  • Special K - That’s awesome! You have an amazing friend in Marla. I’m so happy she’ll be there with you to guide you, for you to lean on, and to experience this wonderful moment with you. You two are lucky girls to share that kind of a bond. :)ReplyCancel

  • CM - What a nice friend! How thoughtful.

    The pouty face….great capture!

    I linked up today :-)ReplyCancel

  • Cindy - What more can you ask for, a beautiful and great friend to go onto this journey with you. Can’t wait for hear when you TA date. It will be memmorable journey, enjoy every moment.ReplyCancel

  • Briana's Mom - What an amazing friend! It is such a big trip – I’m so glad you won’t be doing it alone. I don’t know what I would have done without another pair of hands (for me it was Doug’s!) because there were times I was just plain worn out (I traveled to China sick with a cold – blah)!

    Wishing you a speedy TA and trip to China!!!ReplyCancel

  • Michelle@BornInOurHearts - What a special friend!! That is so great that you two are traveling together. It is a journey that you need to share with someone. Maybe in a few years, when Reagan is old enough to understand, you can all go back as a family with Pat and the kids to experience it a second time together. Love that pouty face!! And the fact that I can actually see both of your pictures. YAY!!!ReplyCancel

  • Ashley Sisk - Well I’m just thrilled that all of this is finally becoming a reality! What a wonderful Christmas present you are receiving!ReplyCancel

  • Melis - Aw, that’s so sweet – I love feel-good friendship moments! How chicken soup-y! I’m kinda pouty thinking, by the way, that it could be another several months before you get her home – that’s totally a bummer… argh!ReplyCancel

  • Courtney - What a great friend you have! That’s wonderful that you don’t have to travel alone. Great picture of you both. You are gorgeous ladiesReplyCancel

  • Jonni - What an absolutely wonderful friend! I know that you will be so happy to have your friend with you. Maybe you will be able to Skype with Pat and the kids as well. :)

    Lisa, I am hoping that you are in China quicker than expected. I know the wait after referral is so hard!ReplyCancel

  • Terri - WOW, what a wonderful & true to heart friend!! It will be such an amazing trip & you will be glad to have someone to share it with!!

    Please keep me posted we are hoping to travel late Oct. or early Nov. as well:) Wouldn’t that be fantastic if we were at Guangzhou together & I can meet your beautiful angel in person!!ReplyCancel

  • Karli - Lisa, I’m just so happy for your family! Can’t wait to see more pictures of that sweet little face. (Totally love the sweet little face of your “middle” one too!) :-)ReplyCancel

  • Sandra - That is so great! It will be great for you to have a second pair of hands and for Marla to experience this wonderful event from the “other side”. So happy for you both.ReplyCancel

  • Terri - What a special friend you have! Marla is so awesome! And like Wanda said…just think of all the FABULOUS pictures your going to have with Marla snapping away on your Gotcha Day!!!ReplyCancel

  • Amy - What an amazing friend you have. Cherish that always.ReplyCancel

  • justinegordon - wow, what an amazing friend, that is fantastic and the pictures are amazing and having such a good friend with you will be brilliant.ReplyCancel

  • Jboo - What a great friend! You will hav an amazing trip, I’m sure!

    I traveled with my sister, Amy, in 2000 when her hub stayed home with their boys. There were some single parents in the group and they had a difficult time! It was an incredible trip for Amy, Grace AND for me too. Can’t wait for your TA!

  • Angela - What a great friend you have! Aren’t good friends the best?!

    Congratulations on your little girl! I hope that it is a speedy process for you and she is home with you soon. She is beautiful!ReplyCancel

  • asj - So amazing, and a huge relief I’m sure. Great friends are pretty incredible. Hope you find out the timeline soon and get over there and get your baby girl!ReplyCancel

  • Nicole - I enjoy the black and White Wednesday links. I took a humorous approach this time around. Please enjoy.


  • Buckeroomama - God is raining down blessings on you –first with the referral of Reagan and with your friend’s decision to be your travel partner. So glad that things are falling into place. You’ll be having baby Reagan in your arms and with your family sooner than you think. :)ReplyCancel

  • Patricia/NYC - How blessed you are to have such a wonderful, generous friend!! But then again, that says a lot about YOU too 😉 FABULOUS!!!

    Praying you will be traveling sooner than you think!!!

    BTW, that is one BEAUTIFUL photo of you & Marla!ReplyCancel

  • Kim - You are blessed indeed to have such a generous friend. Praying for travel dates sooner vs. later!
    Let me know if you too girls are coming thru Hong Kong.
    Love & Blessings,

  • Keisha - How Great that she’s going with you! Marla is a sweetie & I’m sure she will be a Big help!ReplyCancel

  • Freckles & Dimples Photography - Just read your post below this one…how wonderful that you were able to get pics of her! those two little thumbs are adorable. I hope you and Marla have safe travels, and that you will blog while you are in China for all of us to follow :)

  • Jamie H - Congratulations on your upcoming adoption! I’m glad you found someone willing to go with you. I don’t think I could do it alone!ReplyCancel

  • Natalie - Very beaufitul black and white photo and congrats on your adoption!ReplyCancel

  • Tricia - This is my first week joining in and I am very happy to be here. You have a lovely blog. Thank you so much for hosting, and congratulations on your new sweet baby girl!ReplyCancel

  • Maddy - Marla is one special lady…you both are!! And how amazing to have found such an invaluable friendship online, of all places!!! This trip will be one you’ll never forget!! Good luck!! I’m crossing my fingers for an early October/ late September date :)ReplyCancel

  • June - Now that is a friend! You 2 look like sistere!ReplyCancel

  • Marla - Wow, what a sweet post, my friend! I am honored that I get to go along and share this miracle with you. I can’t wait to experience China again and of course, am dying to see sweet Reagan in your arms. Now where is that TA?!?!ReplyCancel

  • Fliss and Mike Adventures - That is what friends are for… true friends… oh no… you two in China alone… scary :) Watch out China :)ReplyCancel

  • Anaiz - How wonderful of her to go with you. What a sweet friend! :)ReplyCancel

  • Caroline (Frogmum) - How fabulous to have such a wonderful friend! Praying for you all :)
    Great pics as always!!ReplyCancel

  • Robin - I know the time can’t pass fast enough for you to go! So glad you have a great friend to go with you.


  • Photo Dialogues - You are so lucky to have the best friend and to be getting that baby you so wanted for long. Goodluck!ReplyCancel

  • Killlashandra - Wow, that’s great that she would be able to go with you. I have to agree that it would be really really helpful to have another set of hands. Lots of things could happen when traveling abroad. Best to be prepared. Sounds like a great plan though!ReplyCancel

  • Tutus and Choo-Choos - Hoping your travel is sooner than later. Best wishes on the new arrival!ReplyCancel

  • Siobhan - I can’t wait to hear all about your travels, you have an amazing heart and amazing friends…..I so am so glad to hear that you will be able to share your experience with her, knowing that all is being taken care of at home :) You have a wonderful family…a true blessing….ReplyCancel

  • Chinamama - What a great friend!! I also checked out her blog…what an awesome person and mother! You are very blessed.ReplyCancel

  • Marcene B - I can’t wait to hear all about your trip and I hope it happens soon for you! That is one super friend you have there. It’s so nice to know you will have someone to travel with!


  • t~ - Wow! That is one terrific friend and just prepare yourselves for all the blond headed beautiful attention;0)

    What a beautiful trip to prepare yourselves for!ReplyCancel

  • Jodee Leader - It sounds like Marla is the perfect person to go with you! You guys will have a blast bringing sweet Reagan home!ReplyCancel

  • Lynn - Congratulations many times over! I wouldn’t know how to contain myself. How are you? China will be an amazing adventure, one that will be with you forever. Happy Wednesday.ReplyCancel

  • Kristy - I wish the best for you and your family! Thanks for the link party!ReplyCancel

  • Kim - Your story just keeps getting better! So excited for you!ReplyCancel

  • Matthew and Larissa - Love all the pictures….Best of luck to you…You deserve it!ReplyCancel

  • Kindred Spirit - This is my first time visiting your blog…what wonderful stories I’m going to enjoy following! & I know I’m a little late for B&W Wednesday, but am excited to be part of the challenge!ReplyCancel

  • Mei Mei s and Mayhem - What an amazing friend!!! That must have been such a hard decision for your family, I could not imagine!!

    Your new daughter is just gorgeous!!

    We are told we will be traveling late October or first of NOvember, maybe we will see each other in China after all!!! :-) We are waiting for TA.ReplyCancel

  • Number 6 and no more counting! - I have chills reading this post Lisa. Honestly what a wonderful gesture Marla has made. I have a feeling you and she are friends/family for life.


  • Catherine - What a wonderful blessing that Marla will be travelling to China with you! She’ll be a wealth of knowledge and at the same time will understand that you’ll take care of sweet Reagan and Marla will take care of you. I had a small posse with me and it was the very best decision as they were more helpful then I could ever express. So happy you have Marla and that your kiddos will have daddy by their side.ReplyCancel

  • The Byrd's Nest - Oh what a wonderful friend. While I was reading this I was thinking to myself, “Oh I pray you don’t have to go by yourself” and then there was the miracle…right there in print:)

    What a blessing….I will be praying that you travel soon!!!!ReplyCancel

  • Kristi - Lisa,
    All three of your children are just beautiful! Congratulations on your latest bundle of joy. …Incidentally, do you live in Bucks County? I think we may live near you. Love Bucks County!ReplyCancel

  • Casey - I can’t WAIT to watch you girls travel to your baby. SO FUN!!ReplyCancel

  • DiJo - I am catching up after beach week!!! What a gift you have in Marla! As much as I know you could do this trip alone if you had too, it is such a blessing to know you don’t have too! Plus, you girls are going to have a wonderful time!!! I can’t wait to follow along and see the gorgeous photos you two will take too!!!!

    Soon you will be in China loving on your cutie!!!


  • Gracie - The goodness of friendship.. Have a happy trip as I’m sure you’ll enjoy the travel as much as you enjoy the company. :)ReplyCancel

  • CC - what an incredible friend! And what a great journey for both of you!ReplyCancel

  • Nadette - Wow, Lisa what an amazing friend you have! I’m so glad you’ll have someone their to support you on your journey to bring your daughter home. It figures that an amazing woman like you would have such amazing friends.


  • lacie - Oh my, oh my, OH MY! Your baby girl in her beach dress…adorable! Amazing! A miraculous gift!!! I am so very THRILLED for your family!ReplyCancel

  • 3 Peanuts - It s so incredibly giving of Marla to travel with you. It will be life changing I am sure. Good friends are priceless!!!ReplyCancel

  • Jess @ Reclaimed Marketplace - Just found your blog through JBoo. I really am touched and just wanted to tell you. What a beautiful family and touching story. I will be visiting back. Thank you for sharing with us all! -Jess HelgesonReplyCancel

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