Life is good. Life is very good!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Our Journey to Sophia

Ok, words are not going to do enough justice to what we are feeling at this very moment. We checked our email tonight and got word from our agency that we are officially Logged in to the CCAA as of August 30th. It took 23 days from the date our dossier arrived to be logged into their system. So there a little piece of the Hopp family sits in a file, in China, waiting to be discovered and reviewed so that our precious baby girl can come home to her forever family! They say that the total adoption time it typically takes in China is about a year after being logged in, which means that if anyone at this moment were to make an educated guess, the time we will get our referral will be August 2007 with a travel time possibly in October. Things could speed up and things could slow down, but that is the beauty of God's time......it is perfect! Little Sophia, we LOVE you sooooooo much and are head over heels ecstatic that we are one major step closer to holding you in our arms baby girl!

Saturday, September 23, 2006


Well, today was a VERY fun day!! We went to the mailbox to find our first two squares for Sophia's 100 wishes quilt! The first one was from Great Grandma Chris and Great Grandpa Norm Hopp. It was a beautiful purple square with pretty flowers and stems and leafs. It is whimsical in theme and we LOVE it! The next one was from Aunt Ruth and Uncle Rudy Baas. They sent us a pretty light green with white greenery on it. It almost appears to be Asian looking and will compliment this project! Thank you a million times over! Your squares made our day!!!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

A beautiful poem about a mother's love

Different Kinds of Love

There were two special women, they never knew each other.
One you don’t remember, the other you call mother.
Two very different lives together make yours one.
The first one like a shooting star, the other like the sun.
One gave to you the gift of life, one showed you how to live it.
The first one gave a need for love, the second was there to give it.
One gave you roots of heritage, the other your good name.
One gave you seeds of talent, the other gave you aim.
One gave to you emotions; the other calmed your fears.
One saw your first endearing smile, the other dried your tears.
The first one had to give you up, it was all that she could do.
The other prayed for her own child and then was led to you.
I hope you see my precious child, that you’re the product of,
not just one but two hearts, with different kinds of love.
By - John Trapani

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Have you been tagged - think about it....

I was tagged by another August DTC friend, so here it goes...

I am... a born again Christian who has been blessed with the most awesome husband in the world with whom I have had three fabulous children with one precious blessing on it's way from China!
I want... to live in a world that is peaceful
I wish... my children will continue to follow the Lord all of their lives
I hate... when people pass unneccesary judgement on others
I miss... the days when my children were little wee ones
I hear... singing, giggling, laughter and talking from my children
I wonder... when we will get to meet our fourth child
I regret... placing heavy weight on what others think of me
I am... not a quiet gal
I dance... crazily
I sing... and I love it - but it does not sound lovely!
I try... to be the best mon and wife I can be
I am not... always flexible and patient...a work in progress
I make... the most of my time by being very busy!
I confuse... my children with the many things to do for the day
I need... a date with my husband!
I should... be doing the many left over tasks at the house
I start... to write, but seldom finish
I finish... the tasks that are the most important to me (not necessarily the most urgent!)

Thursday, August 10, 2006

quilt letter

To our wonderful family and friends,
As many of you know, we are adopting a baby girl from China. After months of chasing paper, our dossier is complete and now in China. We hope to have our referral for our baby girl in 2007. We have decided to name her Sophia.

We are creating a 100 wishes quilt to give to our daughter when we bring her home from China. We would love good wishes and/or prayers to be included.

To welcome and celebrate a new life, a tradition exists in the Northern part of China, to make a bai jia bei (100 wishes quilt) to welcome and celebrate a new life. It is custom that the family and friends contribute squares of cloth along with their wish for the baby. The quilt is then passed on from generation to generation.

How to contribute: There are two pieces to contribute

#1 Fabric: Choose a machine washable, 100% cotton fabric. It can be new or used/meaningful. Cut an 12X12 square. We are hoping to get lots of bright colors

#2 Wish/Prayer: This is the fun part! Use an index card and glue a one inch scrap of your fabric to it with your wish for our precious Sophia. Your wish can be simple or elaborate, handwritten or typed. It can be something you wrote, a favorite poem, bible verse or quote. You can even place a picture on it if you wish! Please remember to include your name on it. These wishes/prayers will be put into a album for our little girl to cherish forever.

All of the notes will be put into an album and when we look through it we will be able to match up the wish and the fabric on the quilt.

If you have more than one person in your family who would like to participate, PLEASE feel free to send more than one quilt block and prayer/wish. Remember, we need to collect 100 squares, so the more the better. Children are welcome to be contributors to this project!

We know that you all have busy schedules, but we hope you will be able to help us create this special keepsake to help preserve some of the Chinese culture for our daughter. This will be so incredibly meaningful to us as well as to Sophia as she gets older.
Love always,
Adam, Lisa, Savannah, Tyler and Brayden Hopp

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


What were you doing on August 7, 2006 at exactly 11:47am? I can tell you that I was at Target with my boys completely unaware of the miracle going on across the world. It was at that exact time that our dossier arrive in China. Now we are officially DTC! We are one step closer to holding our sweet Sophia and bringing her home to a forever family to call her own. As we opened the letter we cried and cried and Adam made a comment that it was exactly the same excitement that we had as we saw each positive pregnancy test. We feel pregnant with this little baby - our hearts are already with her and we love her beyond measure. We feel so fortunate and blessed to know that in the near future we will have our precious baby girl in our arms forever!!!!!! Hooray!!!!!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


Ok all of the sweat and tears and agony and calling Fed Ex with various tracking numbers has finally paid off. We mailed all of our last documents to Americans Adopting Orphans. We feel so blessed at this wonderful miracle that God has blessed us with. Already, although we do not know what Sophia looks like or what her little personality will be, we sense the fact that she is out far far away in China waiting for her mommy and daddy to come and bring her home to be with her forever family! We already love Sophia. Many would never understand this, but the wonder and love we have for Sophie stems from God's call on our lives.
Many have asked have asked us why we are adopting. We look like we have our hands full (the other day a woman from church stopped me and saw me and my children and asked me if I run a day care). I had to laugh, as all she saw was my little angels! It made me think of the very moment that God vividly revealed His plan for us. Adam and I were at a Steven Curtis Chapman concert and watched a music video that had screens that displayed children who were homeless and without forever families. I cried and cried and asked God what I could do. He planted a seed that night and this seed has been planted and ha began to bloom. After telling Adam about this call, he felt totally overwhelmed and was not ready to jump like I was (much like most things in our life). At this moment from October 2004 to now, I prayed. I prayed like I have never prayed before. I asked that God would make us like minded or that He would make it obvious that adoption was not for us. We talked infrequently generally about adoption, but never with any conclusion until April 2006 when Adam and I were on the couch just talking. He turned to me and pretty much out of the blue told me that he was ready. Ready for what? He was ready to adopt our baby girl from China!!!!!! I cried! I laughed! We hugged and embraced for a VERY long time. God is so good. He has taught me patience as well. But look at what He has done! Look at what He continues to do! Our children are so excited and already debating who gets to hold Sophia first.
Being DTC is a huge hurdle to get through as we are one step closer to meeting our daughter. We love you so much Sophie!!!!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Our Journey to Sophia Mei

Today marks a VERY exciting day in our process of adoption Sophia from China. We got the email from our agency that told us that they had finally gotten all of our paperwork and that we will be in the August 2006 batch of dossiers that are going to be sent to China. It seems that this paperchase would never end and it did! I just hope that the wait for Sophia goes as quickly. With the kids, it seems that life is busy and as a family we will be busy getting the baby's room ready and engaging in activities that will bring us closer to the culture that our new baby will bring into our family. I wonder what Sophia will look like and what her little personality will be. We talked and thought of the wonderful day that we get our referral and see our beautiful daughter. She could very well be born now. It is hard to say. A lot will depend on China and the time that it will take to process referrals. Right now the wait is at least 12 months. We are praying for the right time when the baby God hand picked for us is ready for us to bring her home. The wait, not matter how long is well worth the glory of spending our lives with this beautiful baby girl that we will call Sophie (short for Sophia). God is good. Today the excitement is that of the way I felt when the pregnancy test was positive for my children. We are officially "adoption pregnant"! :)

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

2nd trimester of adoption!

Today was a wonderful day in the process of bringing Sophia home! We have two remaining documents that needed authentications, and today we called Fed Ex, and they confirmed that both forms are to be to our Adoption Agency by Wednesday, July 25th. This means that as of tomorrow, Wednesday July 25th we are oficially DONE with the paperchase and now on to the 2nd phase of waiting to bring Sophia home! What a blessing! We could never have done this without the Lord and His hand on our lives. He is so good to us and merciful. It is exciting to know that He plans to grow our family through the miracle of adoption. We know that we have so much to thank and praise God for. Looks like we have gotten through the first trimester of adoption. Now we are feeling better and our energy is higher! Sophia, mommy and daddy can not wait to bring you home. We love you!


Adoption glossary
Here you will find some adoption terms that are often used in the adoption community.

This is a very large set of documents that the adoptive couple puts together requesting a child from China. The dossier includes a home study (written by a social worker), medical reports, marriage certificates, birth cirtificates, police clearances, employment verication letters, financial statement, FBI fingerprints, and numerous other documents and photos.

The China Center of Adoption Affairs. This office is located in China, and is the place where our dossier was sent, logged-in, reviewed, and eventually where a match to our little girl will be made.

Dossier (documents) to China. This is the date that our dossier left the United States on its way to the CCAA in China.

Log in Date. This is the actual date the the CCAA logged in our dossier. This is the date that the CCAA uses to eventually review dossiers, then match them with children. People with similar LIDs are grouped together for the review and matching processes.

This is the notification from the CCAA that they have matched us with a child. The referral usually includes the child's Chinese name, date of birth, weight, height, a medical report, photographs, and some notes about the child's disposition. Aside from actually travelling to China, the referral is the day that families most anticipate.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Our Journey to Sophia

Today, oh what a day! We have been waiting on two forms to come back, one that is from Adam's employer to verify his employment. His company had it notarized incorrectly twice and this was the third letter that needed to be authenticated so we were really nervous. We sent this form off to Florida (all forms MUST be authenticated in the state that they origniated in) and got it back today. Our authentications are two step - the first step is to send the notarized copy to the state office and the second step is to send the form off to the Chinese Consulate. After getting the employee from back from the state, we quickly went to Fed Ex and sent the form to the Consulate. They will be authenticating the form and then sending it directly to Americans Adopting Orphans for our dossier. When we got home from mailing the letter, another Fed Ex envelope was at our door!!!!!!! We peeled the sticky tape off and found a priceless jewel - our last - our final - our beloved 171H form that had been authenticated at the state level and was also ready for the Consulate to authenticate!!! So today marks the start to the end. Rather today marks the start to the beginning. We can finally breathe a sigh of relief. We have completed victoriously, the paperchase and now we enter the extended wait for our precious girl. Thinking that she may be ready to be born, or actually born already is almost too awesome of a thought. It is interesting how our focus went from getting forms filled and filed to now the wait for our daughter that was meant to be in our family from the beginning of time. We feel so blessed that God planted this seed of adoption, because we now know and feel the void in our home that only our baby Sophie will fill. Looking at our family's picture last Christmas, we wonder when Sophie will be here to celebrate the magic with us!!!!

A poem for our girl:

We wait in silence to hear your sweet cry
We wait and wonder
We wait and seek the wisdom of others
We wait, knowing God has handpicked you for us
We wait, knowing by you, our family will be complete
We wait, knowing that a piece is missing and wanting you near
We wait, praying for God to protect you
We wait, asking the Lord to bring people to love you
We wait, and we miss you although we have never met you
We wait, as every second ticks by and the countdown begins
We wait and we love you and we ponder the day
that our wait will be no more and you, Sophia are in our arms.
We love you baby girl!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

I could not have said it better

I read this today and it made me cry. It has the lovely words that truly show the beauty of adoption and the love that we have for our daughter.

Once there were two women, who never knew each other
One you do not remember, the other you call mother.
Two different lives, shaped to make yours one.
One became your guiding star; the other became your sun.
The first gave you life, and the second taught you to live in it.
The first gave you a need for love, and the second was there to give it.
One gave you a nationality; the other gave you a name.
One gave you the seed of talent; the other gave you an aim.
One gave you emotions; the other calmed your fears
One saw your first sweet smile; the other dried your tears.
One gave you up; it was all that she could do.
The other prayed for a child, and God led her straight to you.
And now you ask me, through your tears,
The age old question., through the years;
Heredity or environment - Which are you the product of?
Both, my darling, just two different kinds of love.
Author Unknown.

Monday, July 10, 2006


Today we got back from yet another wonderful camping trip. The kids had so much fun and they loved playing in the ocean and exploring the light houses and hiking too. I have also really began to enjoy this camping bit and realize the the slow nature of camping forces me to relax and enjoy the kids. When we got home today I quickly looked at the mail (we have been waiting for that one last form....the 171H form). I have tried to be patient as this form can take 1-4 months, but as always, I kept thinking that one month sounded WONDERFUL!!! It was in actuality just a few days over one month from the filing date that we got this wonderful form in the mail. Right when we got home, I cruised to the notary and had the 171H form (this is a form that grants us permission to bring an orphaned child into the United States) notarized then went directly to the Fed Ex office to have it shipped overnight to Olympia and I will watch my front door day in and out until it comes back our way, THEN we send it to the Chinese Consulate to have its final authentication and then it's off to Americans Adopting Orphans to get sent as our Dossier to China!!!!!!! We can not wait.
We keep thinking of how much God has moved in our lives through this process of adoption. We feel more stongly now than ever that God is blessing us far beyong what we ever deemed possible by this sweet baby girl. We know that our little baby girl will know total and complete love in our home and that we will be the forever family that she needs and deserves.
It seems really funny these days, our children find all things that are made in China and get so excited, because they think it is so original that an item be made in th every country that their baby sister will (or has) been born in. I keep dreaming about our little missy and wonder what is going on in her little life. She is either in utero or born. I am praying that all of the people who love and care for our little girl will be a complete support to her and let her know how wonderfully special she is. I love her already. Now it is the waiting time. We are thrilled to be in this time period as it means that the paperchase is done and we are one step closer to our baby girl!!!

Monday, June 12, 2006


Today seemed to be crazy. I actually thought that I threw away our passports and the recycle had already picked up for the day. My stress was gone once Adam calmly helped me look and there they were in the files, right where I had placed them. These days my minds is going is so many different directions. We called the Florida state office of Authentications and Notary to see if they got our Employee Verification form and if they had processed it and to our amazement, they told us it would be in the mail and to us by tomorrow. If we get this tomorrow, we can send it to the consulate, which would be the last document (apart from the 171H) that needs to be consulate bound! We are really hoping that we will get logged in by the end of the summer, but try to remind ourselves that God's time is perfect and He knows the child that He wants us to have. This lack of control can be hard at times. I have started a scrapbook for Sophia and I am recording little events that lead up to her Gotcha day - which will be a record of our feelings and expereinces that lead up to bringing her home to her forever family.

Saturday, June 10, 2006


April 2006
Our dream is slowly becoming a reality and today we went to our adoption agency, Americans Adopting Orphans and we accepted into their adoption program in China. Adam and I have been praying about this adoption for almost two years now and waiting for the right time. We both know this is the time to move forward. We are so excited about this new journey in our lives and know that bringing this wonderful baby into our home, will be such a blessing. Although we do not know her, or what she looks like, we can feel her in our hearts. She may just be a twinkle in her mother's eye as we will likely not be able to travel to China for at least a year, but we know she was meant to be in our family and we already love little Sophia Mei so much. We bought a globe and map and posted it on the wall to tell the kids where our new baby will be and where we will be traveling to get her and bring her home! What an awesome blessing!

May 12, 2006
We get to begin our homestudy! We get to meet Char, who has been assigned to follow us though this awesome process of adoption. She tells us that she wants to meet the kids and although we are nervous of this meeting, it went so great. Char was helpful and genuine. She was informative and let us know about the reality of adoption and having Chinese culture be a big part of our lives. We look forward to experiencing this rich culture even before we meet Sophia. Every step we take in this process feels like one more step closer to holding our little blessing in our arms. We spent so much time cleaning and although Char did walk through the entire house (the kids were thrilled to show off their rooms and the new baby's room too). Char even made a comment that our family was almost "too" perfect, which made us laugh as we do not feel even close to perfect. She told us that she was going to work endlessly to get our homestudy complete and that we would have one more visit on May 28th. We anticipate partnering with Char and learning from her as we prepare for such an awesome change in our lives!

May 28, 2006

We stink! We just got back from camping and have a messy car, dirty kids and chaos eveywhere. I guess today Char will see the real family in our worst :) Char came over this evening to complete our homestudy and we looked at the drafts she had already done on us. It seems so odd to see your life in a nutshell written in a professional document. We laughed and talked. We have found Char to be almost like a family friend. She is casual and easy to talk to. We don't feel like we have to put up a front for her. We ended up requesting a healthy infant girl under the age of twelve months. Even though we know the wait will be long, we know that God's time is totally perfect and we can rest in that knowledge. It is so unreal to think that it was just a month ago or so that we were at Americans Adopting Orphans asking numerous questions about adoption, and now we are here, right in the middle of the process.

June 5, 2006
Wow- we are just the model parents! Today was CRAZY. We were to drive to American's Adopting Orphans this morning and be there at 10:00am to pick up our finalized homestudy so that we could drive to Yakima first thing tomorrow morning to file our I600A and get fingerprinted. Much to our dismay, Adam took the car into get the emissions test and right after passing the test, the car would not start. We have NEVER had that problem. To make matters even more exciting, we have been using a rental mini van, as our van decided to need adaptions to it's CPU. The dealer told us to drive only 100 miles a day. To drive to American's Adotping Orphans would go over our 100 mile maximum, so we had to call Ford and beg them to give us more miles. Thankfully Ford was wondeful and told us to use the miles that we needed. Unthankfully, our car needed $1000.00 in repairs!!!! Oh well! So we drive to AAO and realize that our middle child, Tyler has no shoes on and has not worn shoes at all. So we enter our adoption agency, trying to be composed and get our paperwork to adopt our new baby, while we have our shoeless child skipping around. Thankfully the staff of AAO are so great with kids and totally empathized with us. The great thing is, we got our Homestudy and mailed out all of our documents to be authenticated at the state level today. It did feel strange to take all of our cherished documents and ship them off. It is the first time they have left our files and now we need to rely on Fed Ex! Time is tickin'.

June 6, 2006
We drive to Yakima to file our I600A form and get fingerprinted. The trip is about 140 miles each way which was nice and quiet. We stopped and had coffee and got back on the road. I got a little car sick as I was reading continuously and was excited all the same. The Homeland Office was great. They were courteous and kind. They were also really efficient and we were out of there in less than one hour without an appointment. One thing that really helped us was being there pretty much right when they opened at 8:30 in the morning. Before getting fingerprinted I went to use the restroom and as I was washing my hands, I began to shed a tear. It is such an awesome privilege to be able to have a child, no matter what way that child is brought into your home. I had the same sense of anticipation as I did when I was pregnant and at my first doctors visits. Little Sophia is a miracle. She is miles away, and very possibly not even born yet, but she is already imbetted into our hearts. God has been so good to us and is endlessly faithful. Little Sophia is going to certainly have so many people who love her and will become such a huge part of her life. As I stand in the mirror, wet hands and all I marvel at the thought that we are again, one step closer to Sophia Mei. As we walked to the car hand in hand, Adam told me how excited he was that this was becoming more real. Pinch me if I am dreaming!

June 7, 2006
OMIGOSH! We got back all of our forms from the state and they have already been authenticated. It was less than a 48 hour turn around. I quickly went to the local Fed Ex office, called my agency at least five times to be reassured that I was getting everything properly placed for the Chinese Consulate in California. Finally, I mailed it off. Now we just wait. We are also waiting for one more state level form from Florida, and hope to see it come back next week. This process is the chase, the wait and endless amounts of patience needed to complete every step in a correct manner.