Monday, November 28, 2005

Status Report

For those keeping track at home, there are only a few hurdles left for our second adoption!

We go tomorrow morning to get fingerprinted by the Department of Homeland Security. This is in order to get our I-171H (in triplicate, leave the puce, and don't check box H-42-63-J-K-L-M-N-O-P) which is the formal government approval to adopt an orphan from overseas. We hope to get that form early next year, and then we only have three steps left. Those are: 1) Certification of all of our documents by the Secretary of State's office in Austin, 2) Authentication of all of our documents by the Chinese Consulate in Houston, and 3) Translation of all of our documents into Chinese. At that point, it all goes off to China.

The soonest we can submit our dossier (the sum total of the documents mentioned above) is March 2, 2006 (1 year after our adoption of Sydney was finalized in China), and we hope to hit that pretty close. Then we wait 6-8 months (or longer, depending on the backlog at the Chinese Center for Adoption Affairs) for a referral. Once we get the referral, it will take a month or two to arrange travel.

End result? Hopefully this time next year we will be in transit, or very nearly so!

For those scratching their heads and asking if we didn't do the fingerprinting (as well as so many of the other exact same steps) last time, the answer is "Yes!" And no, our fingerprints have not changed... to my knowledge anyway. Neither have our birth certificates, marriage certificiate, etc, etc, etc. There is, unfortunately, no economy of scale in this adoption process, so we have to do it all over again as if we were complete newbies. Sigh...

I will say that it seems much easier the second time around, largely because we know what to expect. Last time we would clear a hurdle thinking it to be very significant, only to discover that the hardest parts were still to come. This time we have been pacing ourselves and have not been intimidated by the amount of forms, letters, etc. So, if the second time is easier... does that mean the third will be a breeze? Stay tuned...

Saturday, November 5, 2005

Who needs a marriage conference when you can just take a crash course?

Ok, that's a bad play on words. The truth is, Amy and I were headed to San Antonio to attend a marriage conference and have a weekend away when it all came to a screeching halt in Glen Rose. A screeching halt, complete with honking, braking, and the sound of crunching metal...

Thursday, November 3, 2005


Just over a month ago, the three of us left to go to Germany. We've been back for over three weeks now, but we are just now posting the photos to our Shutterfly collection. I'll call it the blogging version of jet-lag!

Sunday, October 30, 2005


IMG_5282.JPGGiven the time and the time-change, I can't post much, but we just had to show these two photos of Sydney in her first costume. She obviously has no fun whatsoever!
IMG_5268.JPGHere is Betsy helping her get ready. Given that she doesn't like to keep clips in her hair or allow anything (hats, ribbons, etc.) to stay on her head for more than a few seconds, it would seem that she is getting into the dress-up routine. She left the headband (complete with ears) on all evening. I think she knows when she is just too cute!

Sunday, September 11, 2005

If she could talk, she’d say, “I’m not a baby, I’m a little girl!”

IMG_4652.jpgYes, that is just what Sydney would say. She has engagingly made her way into the toddler stage, and she continues to blow kisses, wave hi and bye, and use 2 dozen baby signs to interact in this fabulous thing called life. Several people have asked if her personality has changed since she came home from China, and the answer is obvious in the pictures and from the many stories shared around the nation from people who know Sydney - she is the party-girl, lampshade adorned and winning smiles everywhere she goes. The maturity and experience that come with walking, baby signing, and interacting with us for 6 months now have introduced some battles-of-the-will, testing of the waters, and character shaping that are typical for a 17 month-old and take us to our Lord in prayer to find wisdom and guidance.

IMG_4699.jpgWe think she is a blast. Rollin just rolls with laughter when she mimics and imitates and charms his socks off. We also realize that we have a precious gift that requires much prayer and discernment to shepherd through childhood. It used to be that evenings were spent reading, listening to classical music, researching vacations - now we find ourselves sitting on the sofa after Sydney is asleep doing a "post-game" recap of successes and mishaps and making a plan for the next day of shaping influences for her. We love it - and it helps so much to be talking through our parenting together rather than feeling like we do it all by reflex and finding ourselves behind-the-ball. Needless to say, this parenting job is WORK and is worth it.

Our adoption story continues to unfold - and the next chapter called "Number 2" is about to be written. Starting the home study process, paperchase, and waiting is surreal considering the fact that a little girl named Sydney is our daughter - we are a family - and she sits on the sofa with us reading books while we fill out forms and request birth certificates again for an adoption of "a healthy 0-12 months old boy, girl, or twins," just as we did 18 months ago before Sydney was born.

It is humbling to think that, Lord willing, our next child has been conceived already and is being cared for by our Father until we can hold her/him/them (?!). It doesn't take away from my delight in Sydney to think of her sibling already - in fact, I feel greater love and appreciation for her knowing she has a family that will continue to blossom and bring her joy and friendship. I pray that we prepare her to be the oldest, a leader and role model and shepherd herself, just as we try to be those very things to her.

Enjoy our pictures at our Shutterfly Collection, and know that our daughter is thriving in the Bredenberg family because of the great father, Son, and Holy Spirit who taught us to love her.

Tuesday, September 6, 2005

Harriet Herndon Royse

Harriet Herndon Royse, born July 18, 1916, died September 4, 2005 , at age 89 after suffering from Alzheimer's Disease for many years. A lifetime resident of Dallas, she was married to Edwin Royse for 61 years before his death in 2001 and is survived by their children, Harry Royse, Rosemary Raley, Elizabeth Joe, and Jane Ladik, eight grandchildren (of whom I am one), eight great grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews. From childhood she was a member of Oak Cliff Presbyterian Church where she served the body of Christ in many ways. Also a leader in her community, she served in PTA, women's clubs, garden club, antique study club; volunteered at parks and museums in Dallas; hosted an American Field Service exchange student, and for several years helped place foreign exchange students with other Dallas families. She had a heart for abused women and the homeless, to whom she gave generously. Harriet lived each of her roles in life with wisdom and grace. She is remembered for her wonderful smile and gentle encouragement and consistent and unconditional love for family and friends.

The memorial service will be held at Park Cities Presbyterian Church at 11:30 a.m. on Friday, September 9. The family will be present during the visitation at Sparkman Hillcrest in Dallas from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. on Thursday evening, September 8. Donations can be made in Harriet's memory to Alzheimer's Association, 225 N. Michigan Ave., Fl. 17, Chicago, Ill. 60601-7633.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Billy James Raley

Billy James Raley, born May 15, 1942 in Spur, Texas, died at his home in Irving on August 24, 2005 after battling cancer for several years. A long-time resident of the Dallas/Fort Worth area, Billy served frequently as a minister of the Gospel while serving others through his business as a carpenter. As a son, husband, and father, he is survived by his father Frank Crenshaw, his wife Rosemary Raley, children James Raley, Ricky Raley, Andrew Raley, Anna Saens, Anna Patterson, and Rollin Bredenberg, nine grandchildren and one great-grandchild. As a friend, fisherman, and fisher-of-men, he is remembered by countless friends, "the one that got away", and the many who, by God's grace, did not.

The memorial service will be held at Irving Bible Church at 3pm on Monday, August 29,2005. The family will be present during the visitation at Ben F. Brown's Memorial Funeral Home in Irving from 5 to 7pm on Saturday, August 27. In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund to support world missions has been set up through Irving Bible Church, 2435 Kinwest Blvd, Irving, TX 75063, and contributions can be marked for the Billy Raley Memorial Fund.

Monday, August 8, 2005

How nerdy are you?

I am nerdier than 86% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out! For some reason, I was surprised to find out I'm only "nerdier" than 86% of "all people". That's like, a B! I usually make A's...

Thanks to Jenn for the link.

Sunday, August 7, 2005

Update on the last four months

Well, much to our chagrin, it has been four months since we posted anything substantive about our family and the continuing development of our little one. In short - She sleeps really well, because when she's awake, she's the Energizer Bunny!

On a quick side-note, in addition to the shots below, we have a number of photos in albums posted on Shutterfly's site under the new Collection feature. The URL is The albums are not in date order, and some of the most recent albums are near the bottom, so keep scrolling!

Thursday, August 4, 2005

Loving Others’ Rejects

See if this doesn't give you a lump in your throat...

Loving Others' Rejects


I know most folks check this site for news and pictures of the family, and especially Sydney. Amy and I have committed to sitting down this weekend and putting together some new photos and updates on that front, but until then, I just have some geek speak...

Years ago, before seeing a movie with my wife's family, I heard a couple of her siblings and her father discussing VOIP. Not being fully up to speed on the whole shabang, I kept my mouth shut. After the movie, as several of us were making use of the facilities prior to hitting the road, I turned to my father-in-law who was standing next to me and asked "So, is this what they call Voice Over I P?"

For those that don't know, VOIP or Voice over IP (IP referring to the Internet Protocol, not the bodily function) is, from a consumer's perspective, a way to make phone calls over the internet. Numerous companies like Vonage have started making use of this ability by offering phone service that runs over your broadband internet connection with no need for a traditional copper phone line.

Why do I mention this? Because Amy and I have switched to Vonage, and I love it!

Thursday, July 14, 2005



That's my response to the newfound speed of Verizon's Fios. I had it installed yesterday and went from a 4.5Mbps/384kbps connection with Comcast to a 15Mbps/2Mbps connection over a fiber optic connection all the way to my house. (The fiber optics stop at the garage, where Verizon's equipment connects to a regular Cat5 cable to the rest of the house.) The added upload speed will be especially nice when uploading photos and other things to the website.

There were a few growing pains along the way, but only because I like things "just so." In the end it was worth it for a faster and cheaper internet connection. Yes, I did say cheaper! I went from $52.95/month with Comcast to $49.95/month with Verizon, while more than tripling my download speed and quadrupling my upload speed. If I wanted to, I could drop down a notch to 5Mbps/2Mbps and save another $10, but I thought I'd give the higher speed a try first.

My recommendation: If Fios is available in your area, GET IT! This is particularly true if you are currently using Comcast, who is not likely to drop their prices to compete with Verizon, based on this article. I have relatives who just signed up with Comcast and got a great deal on the first six months of service, but there are no such price breaks for existing customers. Based on the article, it seems that Comcast's assumption is that users will find it "too inconvenient to switch," so most users will stay despite their higher prices. Based on my experience, Comcast may be in trouble because it's a breeze!

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Mix it up!

For those looking for Sydney updates, I have only this to offer...


Monday, April 18, 2005

Iron Pope?

Iron_Pope.jpgAm I the only one who thinks it would be a really good idea to elect the next Pope using a competition similar to that on the Iron Chef cooking show? Imagine if you will...

Papal candidates have one hour in which to prepare and deliver a Mass, counsel a member of the flock in distress, and make some vital diplomatic decisions on behalf of the Vatican (like declaring war on Italy or something). Topics of the Mass, counseling, and diplomacy will be revealed at the beginning of the 60 minutes. In the tradition of Iron Chef, four judges will be chosen who look good on screen but have nothing to do with Catholicism (well, okay, maybe one can be a religion critic, if they have such a thing) and will decide who did the best job and managed not to have a heart attack. Points will be awarded based on doctrine, handling of the issues, and their appearance as they race to and fro wearing a huge hat (also called a mitre). WHOSE FAITH WINS THE RACE?!?

Then, they could televise it and make a fortune on the merchandising, to say nothing of bloopers! The possibilities are endless...

Chairman Kaga, as he is called on the show, is already dressed for the part, as you can see to the right. All I added was the hat! Hey, I wonder if he's Catholic...

Gotta go call the Vatican and CBS! Alle Communion!

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Photos from Sydney’s Birthday Party

For those waiting, here is a link to the photos from Sydney's first birthday. There are 50 photos, and I may add more as people email me pictures that they have from the party. In particular, if anyone has pictures of all three of us (Amy, Sydney, and me) we would love to see them. It is understandably difficult to take those...

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Photo album on Shutterfly

Well, our Sydney is 1! Diane, Rollin's step-mom, created and hosted a fantastic birthday party for her, and she seems to still be tired from all the socializing at the party. If we haven't mentioned this before, let me clarify - our Sydney is a real social butterfly. I think the other families in our travel group would agree - she just thrives on people and activity and applause :) We regret not video taping the "Happy Birthday" song and her reaction to the clapping ... she was on an emotional high that just came out as squeals. With that incredibly cute face that you just want to eat, our Sydney is a charmer.

A big milestone for Miss I-don't-like-being-prone: yesterday she crawled for the first time, and today she was on the move. We are so proud of her and the hurdles of insecuity and worry that she is crossing. The things she disliked at Gotcha Day - being on her belly, baths, strollers, high chairs, and diaper changes - are distant memories. Even the naps that she tried to get out of by screaming are now fairly restful and approach restorative sleep. I really think being put in the crib when she was not completely exhausted was the last major adjustment issue for Sydney - she was just plain mad at missing out on the fun we must be having without her. What a treat now for me to see her more rested and relaxed when she gets up.

I was commenting to my mom today how grateful I am for the liberation I feel with Sydney adopted into our family - were she my biological child, I would be tempted to take credit in my mind for her gregarious, oh-so-pleasing personality. As my daughter now, she exhibits a heart that has been given to her by the Lord Himself, not of my doing, so that I may not boast. After her baptism last week, I pray that her salvation and her personality continue to be His work alone.

Enjoy the pictures at this link... we'll be taking so many more. :) This album includes many of the best photos from our trip to China and the weeks since. We uploaded them so we could order prints, and wanted to share them with everyone. Unfortunately, they don't include the birthday party yet, but we will be posting those separately in the next few days.

Sunday, April 3, 2005

Time for an update?

Well, it has been three weeks since we got home, and we have not posted any updates. One could gather from this that we are still trying to catch our breath and find a routine that leaves us some time to get things done during waking hours, but enough is enough. Somebody post already! Oh, I guess that means me...

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Home, safe and sound

After a long and arduous flight, Amy and I landed safely yesterday afternoon. There was quite a crowd waiting at the airport for us when we got through Customs. I didn't take any pictures of the homecoming but I know there were a lot of flashes going off and at least two video cameras running, so I am sure we will receive some photographic evidence before long.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Dallas or bust …

Sydney Grace is on Japanese soil - she's an international traveller at age 11 months. We had a LONG day yesterday, but we're refreshed and only have one leg of our journey left :)

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Paperwork complete- let’s go home!

Our CCAI representative took our paperwork to the US Consulate here in Guangzhou this morning, and we have officially met the requirements for bringing Sydney home ... we do a small "giving of oaths" ceremony tomorrow, and then we're on the plane! Rollin continues to feel low, Sydney coughed LITERALLY for 20 minutes solid this afternoon and tossed her cookies (all over me - but hey, I don't really mind when it's my daughter :)), and I have developed pink eye. But, WE'RE COMING HOME!

I was talking with my mom this afternoon about this adoption as we spent most of the day shopping and carrying little Sydney around in the Snugli. I really would do this again in a heartbeat - not because it was "fun" or "vacation" or "thrilling" or "rewarding," but because the Gotcha Day experience is so fantastic that it makes the whole thing irresistable. To have prayed for this child even before she was conceived half way around the world; to have asked the Lord to protect and nuture her in her birth mother's womb; to have thought of her daily as she was born and very quickly abandoned; to ponder her adjustments with dozens of other infants in a room seeking attention and touch; to have conquered paperwork mountains and hurdled government obstacles; to have received her 6 months picture when she was already 9 months and put a name and face to a dream; to have prepared suitcases full of baby things and medicines and stuff for a 2 week vacation in what could seem to some like TimBuckToo; to have met 9 other families on the SAME road with the same burning desire; and THEN, to have this child, on a Tuesday afternoon at dinner time, put in your arms for EVER, never to be taken away, and never to be abandoned again, and to find that she is SO FULL OF LIFE already.... yes, I'll do this again and again because the Lord compels me to do this for His little children who will be my children, too. This little girl is just so fixed in my heart after all this time, and there are times these last few days when I think she knows it.

So, we will bring her home to you, her family and friends, as well. I have been buoyed up during these last few days by the vision of you all typing such great encouragement to us in the comments, knowing you are reading our adventure and praying for the Lord to guide and direct us. We can get caught up in the minute to minute bustle of life in a hotel in China with an 11 month old and meetings to go to and forms to sign and bags to pack and loved ones to nurse back to health ... this week I have really paused to think of you all and smile with a new spring to my step. I am so thankful that Sydney and this whole adoption process have meant so much to you all - I love knowing that the Lord is working out His purposes for all of us through her adoption.

Wednesday, March 9, 2005

Dr Bredenberg is on duty …

Well, we are just a pathetic little traveling party. Nothing life threatening, but sad nonetheless.

Greetings from Guangzhou

Anybody catch the number of that bus? Which bus? The one that ran me over...

I think this is the first of many things Sydney will be kind enough to share with me, and I appreciate the sentiment (really, I do!). This virus, however, can go away with my blessings. It acts like it wants to hang on and get a free ride to the States, but hopefully I'll be able to shake it off before that.

Anyway, you didn't come all the way to this site to listen to me moan about a sore throat and a fever. Let's get to the good stuff, like how we got to Guangzhou and what we've been up to since.

Monday, March 7, 2005

Literally spring fever - the Bredenbergs fall victim …

As every parent knows, the bond between a mommy and her child grows ever stronger with sickness. Although she was the picture of health for the first 4 days, 2 days ago little Sydney Grace started coughing just like most of the little babies in our group. We think someone involved in the transfer of the babies from Ningdu to our hotel must have started it all, but the upper respiratory infection has struck our little family and Grandma seems to be the only one unscathed so far. Rollin was out of commision most of the day with a fever, headache, sore throat, etc ... he wasn't even up for coming to our last group dinner here in Nanchang, which was very telling of how poorly he felt. I have been fighting off all the head cold symptoms as well, but our little Sydney Grace has been a very sad and uncharacteristically irritable baby. After sleeping 13 hours last night, she has been feverish, coughing, and blowing snot bubbles most of the day. Listening to her chest with my handy stethoscope, things sound ok but a little suspicious - I loaded her up tonight with Motrin, Benadryl, cough meds, and an antibitotic I had brought (my first-time mommy skills are at least enhanced by my degree). Right now she is sleeping restlessly - methinks she is having Benadryl/fever nightmares. And guess what - we get on a plane tomorrow! WHAT an adventure.

It has been quite warm and sunny here - instead of the 40-60's we anticipated, it feels more like 70 outside, and we're sweating with our long-sleeved clothes. That, combined with a we've-been-here-a-bit-too-long feeling and being sick, is making us all antsy and ready to move on. Rollin and I are ready to be home with our new threesome family routines to enjoy, and Grandma is just itching to get home and kiss on Josh and Beth. Nanchang will hold precious memories of our first days with Sydney, but home is where we long to be.

We've been spending the days doing grocery shopping (table foods for 11 month olds can be tricky here), visiting some local pagodas and porcelain shops and parks, and walking though the Nanchang Social Welfare Institute. This is the city orphange (not where Sydney spent her first 10 months - Ningdu Children's Welfare Institute is a good 6 hour drive from here). Although the little babies and toddlers we saw truly broke our hearts, the conditions revealed a well-kept place. I fear that other orphanages are not so encouraging. We snuggled with our little Sydney even more today, and I prayed that the future adoptive parents of those little ones would be able to come soon to bring them home, too.

Please pray for Rollin and Sydney particularly today - we'll keep you updated on their recovery, but tomorrow may prove to be awfully long with packing and travelling while sick. We will get our daughter's new passport in the morning, and then we start another marathon of getting 10 familes (11 babies) and all the accompanying adults on a plane and landed/situated at the famous-for-adoption-familes White Swan Hotel in Guangzhou. Hopefully we'll post more about our time here in Nanchang and the daily routines tomorrow night if all goes as planned. The Lord is merciful, and we lean on his mercy tonight.

Sunday, March 6, 2005

Musings from the Mommy

We have taken a 2 day break from posting here from China - partly because the activity level for the adults has slowed down, but mainly because we're getting a little stir crazy waiting for Sydney's passport to be processed so we can get on to Guangzhou. It's taken me this long to process my thoughts and emotions and reactions to this transition to motherhood. Reason? This little girl absolutely floods your emotions and overwhelms your heart.

Thursday, March 3, 2005

Exploring Nanchang

Today was a day with no plans so we relaxed, played, and did a little exploring.

Wednesday, March 2, 2005

Registration Day in Nanchang

Today we finalized our adoption in the eyes of the Chinese government!

Tuesday, March 1, 2005


They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so here they are:

Monday, February 28, 2005

Hong Kong Calling…

Greetings from a cloudy Hong Kong!

We arrived last night (Hong Kong time) and stayed the night at the airport hotel. Less than stellar, but it was a place to rest our heads, and by that point, we needed it! We awoke early this morning, showered, and met the rest of our travel group as they arrived and congregated in the Hong Kong airport. We traveled as a group to the hotel on the Kowloon Peninsula where we are staying tonight. We had to wait several hours for our rooms, as they were fully booked the night before and had to wait for people to check out, but they provided a lounge area where we waited and got to know the other families in our group. After getting checked in, we met the group and took a half-day bus tour of Hong Kong, including Victoria Peak and the Fisherman's Village. We are now back at the hotel winding down.

We will leave this hotel on Tuesday morning (again, Hong Kong time) and travel back to the airport and on to Nanchang. We should arrive around 12:30pm, and will hopefully have Sydney by this time tomorrow!

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Greetings from Tokyo!

Well, we made it to Tokyo! One leg down, and just one more to go before we sleep and spend a day in Hong Kong meeting the other 9 families adopting from the same orphanage at the same time.

Below are a couple quick shots to prove that we are bearing up well here at the Admiral's Club (thanks, Dad!) at Tokyo's Narita airport.

We're getting closer, Sydney!

Friday, February 25, 2005

24 Hours!!!

Picture Ty Pennington running around our house with a megaphone yelling "Twenty-four hours, people!" and you'll get a sense for the anticipation in the air around here. It has been hard to wait through all of the stages and delays, but we are, at long last, only twenty-four hours from leaving for the airport. Our bags are mostly packed, our day-jobs have been tied up and either put on hold or handed to others to deal with for a few weeks, and our refrigerator is looking empty enough to go a few weeks without anything spoiling...

I have been sitting in the living room this morning praying and enjoying the company of our dogs who will be well taken care of but still lonely, and realizing that this is finally it. No more delays, no more to-do's (well okay, a few more of those). Our tickets, passports, and visas are in hand, our baby stuff is prepared, our hotel rooms are booked, our bills are paid, our t's are crossed and our i's are dotted. Off we go! Praise God!

For those wondering about when we will get back on the 12th, our parents have our flight details, and I don't feel perfectly comfortable posting them here. If you have a need for them, please contact any of our parents. If you don't know any of the parents but would still like to know when we get in, you can email me. I should have time to reply while we are in China. My address can be found to the left under the sign-up box for email updates.

We would greatly appreciate your prayers for safety and for our time with Sydney as we begin to bond and attach. There are certainly many things that could go wrong, but few things that usually do. We anticipate it will take anywhere from a few days to a week for Sydney to really feel comfortable with us, and we covet your prayers for that process. I know we have not been alone in praying for Sydney's health and protection. We are also praying, as every parent does, that the Lord would touch Sydney's heart and bring her into His family in His timing.

All I know about parenting is that I don't know diddly, and that I may not know much more 20 years from now. Pray for grace for me and Amy as we become parents and seek to honor God by our caring, teaching, and guiding of Sydney.

Thank you to all of you who have supported us through this long waiting process. Soon it will be over and she will be home with us!

Friday, February 18, 2005

March 1st

We now know when our "Gotcha Day" will be - March 1st! We will arrive in Nanchang around lunchtime, go to our hotel, fill out some paperwork, and then receive Sydney later that afternoon! In Dallas time, this will be (if my math is correct) sometime around 2 in the morning on Tuesday, March 1.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Last minute lunge…

Having frantically worked with our agency and the airlines for the last few days to get reasonable flights to China, here is what we're doing, for those that care. The in-China itinerary has not been sent to us yet, but here is our international travel:

We'll leave Dallas the morning of Saturday, February 26th, and get to Hong Kong the evening (in Hong Kong) of the 27th. We'll meet our group the next morning, on the 28th, and travel to Nanchang on March 1st. We have our appointment at the Consulate in Guangzhou on March 10th, and we'll fly out of Hong Kong the morning of March 12th, arriving back in Dallas the afternoon of Saturday, March 12th.

We don't have a firm date for "Gotcha Day" as it is called (the day we see Sydney in person and she joins our group permanently), but I hope to know that by the end of the day.

The dates above obviously got pushed a little once our agency actually started making arrangements. We had hoped to leave two days earlier and return a day earlier. It has felt a little like chasing something that is just out of reach like in a bad dream, but the dates can't slip any more as the tickets are bought and the bags are on the way to being packed!

Monday, February 14, 2005

We have a Consulate Appointment!

It's official - we have an appointment at the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou on March 10th. We hope to leave Dallas on February 25th, and should return about the 11th. Based on the finalized itineraries of those going to other provinces, this should put us in Nanchang to receive Sydney by February 28th. The rest of the time will involve paperwork and ceremonies in Nanchang and Guangzhou, with (hopefully) a fair amount of down time to get to know our daughter. Wow, "our daughter" - I'm enjoying saying that, but it still takes getting used to!

We will be working with the travel agents used by our adoption agency to finalize tickets and reservations this week, and I'll post more information as I have it.

Tuesday, February 8, 2005

Some Assembly Required…

Well, we have received word that our consulate appointment has not yet been made, so we will have to wait until Monday to hear anything. While disappointing, we have been reminded of 2 Corinthians 12:9 once again.

While we are waiting, let me explain the title of this post...

"Some assembly required" is the revelation of the past few days. It started with the crib, which wasn't so bad. I knew it would have to be put together and was prepared. Little did I realize it was just the tip of the iceberg. This weekend I assembled a set of shelves, a chair, a stoller, a pack-n-play, and various and sundry other smaller items for Sydney. Of course, in the process I have scraped, skinned, cut, (fortunately, I didn't do this) and ripped my hands to the point that they have formed a union and asked for paid time off. Hey, there may only be two of them, but if they go on strike I'm in trouble. I'm just trying to keep them from hearing the rumors I've heard about the amount of assembly required for kids' toys at Christmas, etc...

Monday, February 7, 2005

No news is not good news…

For those anxiously waiting with us, we did not get any word back from the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou today. We have to get an appointment from them before we know what our dates will be so we can proceed with other arrangements. We are hoping to hear tomorrow. If we don't hear tomorrow, we won't hear until Monday as the Consulate will be closed the rest of the week for the Chinese New Year holiday. That would be a disappointment as it would delay everything by a week, but once again there is nothing we can do directly, so we are praying and trusting in God's plan. Thanks for hanging in there with us!

Friday, February 4, 2005

Travel Approval and Thank you

Great news! Our travel approval (TA for short) has come in. This is a formal approval from China to travel over and adopt our daughter, and it is the event we have been waiting for since the referral came in last month. Now that we have it, we can make the appointment with the US Consulate in Guangzhou, and then start to nail down dates for travel and the other appointments we will have to make as part of the adoption process in China.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Sydney Grace Bredenberg

It is with great pleasure that I am able to announce more information regarding our daughter, Sydney Grace Bredenberg, soon to be brought home from the Jiangxi province of China!

Also, please note the new box on the left-hand side of the web page. If you would like updates and info while we are in China, please enter your email address. This list will only be used for adoption updates, and will be used sparingly.

Friday, January 7, 2005

Match Day!

Amy and I have received our referral for our little girl! Words can't express the excitement we feel in looking forward to travelling to China to adopt her and bring her home.

Here is the information we have, along with a graphic showing the rough location of the province and orphanage in China.

Wednesday, January 5, 2005

Pins and Needles

For those checking up on our adoption progress, we have not received the referral yet, but hope to ANY DAY NOW!

The news from our agency is that they have been mailed from China, and should be received by our agency on Thursday or Friday. It will then take a day or two to translate and distribute the information, but we could possibly hear on Friday or Monday! That means we will know which little child the Lord has chosen for us, and we will have a face, name, and date of birth, among other things! Amy and I are struggling to get productive work done and not get our hopes too high, but we are extremely excited.

We'll be posting here as soon as we hear anything, so stay tuned....