Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Blog!

We've moved to one blog:
see you there!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Our Christmas Eve was filled with smiles and laughter here at the Arnold house. I cannot begin to tell you the JOY and DELIGHT that oozes out of this little Haddie Hope. She is a true gift of JOY! Every time you look at her she smiles. We went out for Mexican last night, an Arnold favorite...seems that it may need to "grow" on Haddie. She wasn't too crazy about it, but every time we looked at her, she just grinned. Our waiter was quite "taken" with her. He kept checking in with her to make sure she was doing okay. He would use some Spanish with her which cracked me up. Why not? Let's just throw another language her way to utterly confuse her.

I got helped her into her "I Love Santa" jammies and she was thrilled with them, offering some hearty "Ho! Ho! Ho's!" As I carried my little monkey down the stairs on my back her squeals of joy in my ear where loud and delightful.

Our hearts are filled with JOY! We are overwhelmed by this little gift of JOY that has been delivered to us just in time to celebrate our DELIVERER...our SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST!! He is mighty to save! We pray that as you celebrate His gift of salvation in your home that you realize the fullness of His JOY!

From the fullness of His LOVE we have all received one BLESSING after another...

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Wow! What a difference 24 hours makes...actually more like 48 hours.
Pictures to Follow

How thankful we are to God that he has been so good and merciful. He hears our cries and answers! We have seen so much evidence of His hand upon us. I am reminded of Psalm 126:

Psalm 126

1 When the Lord brought back his exiles to Jerusalem,
it was like a dream!
2 We were filled with laughter,
and we sang for joy.
And the other nations said,
“What amazing things the Lord has done for them.”
3 Yes, the Lord has done amazing things for us!
What joy!
4 Restore our fortunes, Lord,
as streams renew the desert.
5 Those who plant in tears
will harvest with shouts of joy.
6 They weep as they go to plant their seed,
but they sing as they return with the harvest.

Thank you to each of you who warmly welcomed home our little girl at the airports, in Chicago and Bloomington. You have blessed us beyond words. Each of your hugs and faces overwhelmed us with comfort and joy. There were quite a few elves that came to our house while we were gone. THANK YOU!!! You have bountifully blessed us with goodies and our cupboards are FULL. We did not have one need from the second we hit US soil. The gratitude we hold for each one of you who prayed for us as we were in China and prayed us home, is beyond what words can express. Thank you!

As I am sure you aware from the earlier posts, I battled with a kidney stone on the way home. The Lord provided for my physical need when we landed in Shanghai after our flight from Beijing. We were quite the sight! This big crew and this lady who could not stand up and writhing in pain!! You can just imagine all of us out on the tarmac of the Shanghai airport with doctors around us and the ambulance waiting to take me to the hospital, which of course I refused. There was a moment when one of the flight attendants thought I was having a baby...I think that would have been easier. Oh, how thankful that we can laugh about it now. God provided some medication which took the edge off the pain so that I could bear the 18 hours that lay ahead of us until we were home. All glory to God that the stone passed about an hour before we landed. We opted out of our last flight home and had drivers ready for us at the airport in Chicago...THANK YOU Dad A, Mom and Dad K, and Barton!!!! This morning we found out that the flight we were to arrive on in Bloomington did not land until midnight. Once again, thank you Lord!

Our last couple of days in Beijing were wonderful. We were able to take Haddie to the Forbidden City and The Great Wall. She had not even heard of either of them, but seemed to enjoy her time at each. Actually, she enjoys herself just about anywhere she goes. At the Great Wall we took a chair lift up and took a toboggan ride down. We did this last time when we were in China and had a blast. Haddie and I tobogganed together on the way down. We laughed our heads off! She just kept chattering away in Chinese. About every 10 words I would hear a mama, but outside of that I have NO IDEA what she was saying, but I am confident she was having a good time.

We had the privilege to go back to New Day, Libi's foster home. It was so sweet to go back and see those who prayed over her and cared for her much of her life. (Talk about being overwhelmed with gratitude!) We were able to meet Elizabeth, a sweet little girl with a heart condition that we sponsor. She is almost ten, and not yet matched with family. It broke my heart to look into her sweet face and at the faces of those children who still wait. You can't walk into a room of children like that at New Day and not leave changed. It doesn't matter if you have adopted or not. You just can't imagine these sweet little ones who go to bed at night without a mommy and daddy to tuck them in. Last night I was struck by how deeply my daughter has needed a HOME and the love of a FAMILY. You know Haddie and I have been a little slow in the bonding department, but since we have been home there have been HUGE strides. After she saw her room last night she ran to me and gave me a huge hug and kiss. She went to each room, soaking it all in and giving me hugs and kisses...she was a whole new girl! I believe she felt very happy and secure. I think she understood that she really was HOME, and she has needed to be HOME her whole life! No child goes without that need. We were created to have a mom and dad and without it there is a void.

Tucking my girls in last night was precious! We sang and was truly "perfect". Haddie was so peaceful and content...she was with her FAMILY and she was HOME!

Thank you Jesus! How GREAT YOU ARE!!!

Side note...because Haddie is older it is necessary for her bonding process that we be intentional in limiting her physical interaction outside of Brad and myself. She will not be allowed to hang on or extend affection outside of mama and baba. Please understand if we have to pull her off of you or run interference to keep her off of you. :) Thanks for your understanding.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Arrival Time

by Sherry

Brad called and they were loading up at Ohare at 7:00.

Amy thinks she passed her kidney stone on the plane, so she is feeling better. PTL!!

I294 is backed up, so I wouldn't think they would be in to the BN Airport before 9:15or 9:30 at the earliest. I'll post again if we get anymore updates.

See you all in awhile! :)

Prayers Needed

posted by Sherry

Amy's mom called to say that Brad called as they were boarding their long leg home. Amy is passing a kidney stone. PRAYERS ARE NEEDED!!!

Amy's folks will meet them in Chicago, to get meds to her as soon as they come in. They will then drive home from Chicago.

They are still planning to meet everyone at the BN airport. We'll update on here with arrival times.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

See you tomorrow

Well, here we come. We are all packed and ready for bed. We will wake up and begin the trek back to the states. We fly from Beijing to Shanghai in the morning and then leave Shanghai for Chicago about 6:00pm. We arrive in Chicago at 5:00 pm on flight AA0288 (American). We will have about a 3 hours layover and then take flight number AA3949 from Chicago to Bloomington. The planned arrival in BMI is 9:00 pm. We will start a call chain if there are delays.

I would ask for prayer for Amy. She has really struggled with anxiety on the flights. The obvious other requests would be for Libi to be seizure free and that the girls would get some sleep. We love you all and look forward to seeing you in Bloomington.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Haddie's first trip to a zoo!

Well, we did the Guangzhou Safari today, and Haddie loved it. As we were getting on the bus this am, we had our guide Grace ask Haddie if she had ever been to a zoo before and she said NO. Amy and I cannot imagine a girl almost 7 and she has never been to see animals at the zoo. She stood almost the entire 1 hour bus ride because she was so excited. When we arrived we first took a train ride through the exhibits, where we saw herds of tigers, white bengaled tigers, lions, deer, elephant, wildebeest, giraffe and many more animals. It was the coolest zoo I had ever been to! Check out the pictures... Haddie was able to feed giraffe, elephants and a baby tiger.

We ended Guangzhou on a great note. Praise the Lord and thanks for all of your prayer. We are all feeling great. Libi is about 80%, but doing much much better.

We have our bags packed and will leave for the airport at 7:30 am tomorrow. We are looking forward to the last leg of our trip in Beijing, and cannot believe that we are one week from Christmas. It was a little surreal today, walking around a zoo in China in 55 degree weather, listening to Christian Christmas carols. By the way Rob, you would be very jealous of the panda exibit... only 2 sleeping out of 10. And nobody with the "guts" to wake them up with a stick. Miss you guys!

We are going to go to the Forbidden City tomorrow, and the Great Wall on Sunday. We are excited to go see New Day on Monday, so that Libi can see her nanny and we can visit with all of New Day kids. Boy oh boy do we long for the day that we can celebrate with you all the homecoming of our beautiful Haddie. She is becoming more and more at ease with us. The fake laughs and insecure grins are dwindling and being replaced with sincere affection.