13 December, 2013

Well Overdue Update

So I know it's been months... and I'm sorry!  Life has been so nuts.

So to quickly fill you in, at the end of September we put our house up for sale. It was not something we had planned on doing... in fact, our plan all along has been to move in spring after we got everyone home and settled after Jovie's surgery. Several friends told us within days of each other that moving in spring after the kids came home would not be a good idea.  So we prayed about it and put our house for sale knowing it would have to sale super-quick if we were going to make it work. We had 4 people interested in the house and had a bidding war with offers and it sold for what we wanted. The people that we sold our house to bought with cash and closed so fast I only had ONE week to pack up our house (that we've lived in for 10 years, mind you, we have collected a lot of stuff!) Okay, even now it's amazing to me! Praise goes to God!

We found another house that is everything we've ever wanted - beautiful house in a perfect location, it has a yard for the kids, and a driveway that they will be able to ride their bikes on. We moved in on October 18 and every day here I wake up in amazement that it all took place. I wonder when it will finally sink in?

We did not realize that moving would mean that another homestudy had to take place, though, and an amendment to our I-800 ): we thought that since we were past China's acceptance we would be good... It put us back a little more- boo! But everything has been done and resubmitted and right now we are on the LAST item. Our Article 5 should come on Monday, and it's then sent to Beijing for (drum roll!!!!!!)


When we get our travel approval, we will book our tickets. Our agency has estimated that we will be there January 15. Chinese New Year is at the end of January and if our travel approval does not come quickly enough, we will be have to wait until after the Chinese New Year.

I know to everyone else this is just a few weeks... but to us it's so important.  PLEASE I ask you for your prayers that we would be there before Chinese New Year and have these sweet children home in February.

Two nights ago I got this gorgeous girl's photographs and a short update. When I saw this picture of her, it quite literally took my breath away. 

She loves to run and play with her friends! She is also an expert at watching those around her and copying their actions and repeating their words! One of her favorite people to copy has been her nurse Ednalyn! Ming Yu follows her around during daily rounds and tries to do all the things her nurse does! Ming Yu also recently started preschool. Although she was a bit shy at first, she has warmed up to the idea and now enjoys going.
We also just learned that Jovie has been at Maria's Big House of Hope. This is such a great place, and is specifically build for orphans with special needs. There are doctors on staff there and I know that she has received the absolute best care. It is such a blessing to know she has been in a place like this.

Very soon I will be kissing those cheeks!!!  I can't hardly stand it any longer!!! I want us to be together, as it should be. 

19 September, 2013

New Pictures of Ian

I have 2 new pictures of our sweet boy. He is melting me with those cheeks— every time I see his pictures I think how I can not wait to kiss on them!!! I love this little boy so much I could burst! And soon he will know that! 


18 September, 2013

Dragon Boat Festival

This weekend we were able to go for the second year to the Dragon Boat Festival.  It is so much fun to be a part of the festivities. We love this opportunity to celebrate a little Asian culture with our girl and a few special China friends. Mae, Amie and Mia. 

Aren't these the cutest little friends holding hands?

I just looked back to see our pictures from last year and I can not believe how much Mae has grown up in a year!

13 September, 2013


We received these two very beautiful pieces of paper yesterday from China. This means we have LOA - "letters of Acceptance" from China. This is a very big milestone in our process and we are jumping up and down for joy!!! From here things will move fast! We will be in China sometime between November to December. 

Seeing these papers with our children's names next to ours made me very emotional. We are theirs and they are ours. FOREVER!



18 August, 2013

Mae's Money

I use this blog like my scrapbook... I love looking back and seeing all the things we've done and all the ways Mae has grown. Yesterday was, in some a ways, a step to becoming a big girl for Mae. She had gotten a few dollars for her birthday in a card from Grandma and this was the first time Mae was really excited about having her own money. We have a piggie bank for Mae and she wanted to put her money together and count it. She had $13 dollars.

We wanted to take this time to start teaching her to give a part and save a part.  She will give a dollar at church and save a dollar for later, so today she had $11 to spend.

So, we went to Walmart and walked in and asked her where she wanted to go in the store and what she wanted to buy. This child's answer was so precious, it made me cry right there in Walmart. She said she wanted to buy some clothes for Jovie. Gah! how is it that she is so sweet!? Her daddy explained to her that we would buy Jovie and Ian's clothes and that she could find something for herself.

We walked every aisle in the toy section. Mae just really is a great kid that hardly ever asks for anything. She seemed more happy to be walking the store than to really be interested in anything. We started pointing things out to her and she finally got excited about some mega blocks that she could use with her blocks at home to build a castle.

We went home to go build blocks and with a thankful heart to have such an incredible girl. 

16 August, 2013

Zoo Day

Wednesday my mom (Nonna) took Mae and me to the zoo.  It was a PERFECT day! School had started back for all the kids in the area so we were so happy to find that there were few others that had our idea to go (: The weather was perfect and we truly had a memorable day. I love our Atlanta Zoo and Mae had a terrific time. Can you guess what Mae's favorite animal was? Was it the elephants that put on a show? the pandas? the gorillas? Nope, nope, and nope.  It was the meerkat... to our surprise; although they are strangely cute. And one of the coolest things was getting to feed the birds while they perched on our little sticks. It was a great way to say goodbye to summer.

13 August, 2013

Battles and Blessings

We heard remarkable news yesterday: WE HAVE RAISED ALL OF OUR ADOPTION EXPENSES.

DONE! It is still sinking in. I honestly can not express to you the magnitude of this. It is a weight lifted that I didn't realize was quite so heavy.  I don't know how to begin to thank everyone, but my eyes are filled with tears and my heart wants to burst. We could not have done it without your help. Praise God, but on the heels of this I have come to realize I have so much to learn about God. God has been dealing with my heart.

So, this little revelation may have taken me an embarrassingly long time to reach, but—It is not about me. I think I know what I want and what I need. I was singing on Sunday and the words, "Here I am Lord" and it really hit me... my prayers around our adoption are all centered around me: "Please let our kids come home quickly." This is my heart's desire, but on Sunday I realized how much I am caught up on this, and then it hit me even harder that God is probably saying, "Kristen, this whole thing was my idea!!"

Oh yeah.
This was all God's plan after-all. He had to clue me in on it, and I am only a participant.

Okay, not rocket science, but this should change things, right? This does not change the longing that I have to know my children, but it most certainly does change the perspective. I am (we are) so small. To think and pray only in our little tiny worlds is really narcissistic, don't you think? I have been thinking very small. God's desire is to get these kids home, I do know that... but how much further does his plan reach? Wow, that is a thought.

There's also the matter of trusting. You see, I know that I am out of control... I know that there is NOTHING that I can do to make things speed up, but do I have even an inkling of how big my God is? I recently heard a quote, "There is not one inch of the universe that the Lord Jesus does not say, 'That is mine.'"

Just maybe God's plan is to not only give these two children a momma, but to also build this momma's character.

Okay, so it's not about me, and I have very little vision past my own selfishness. But there's more...

Patience. I'm realizing just because you have no choice in the matter does not give you patience. Patience according to wikipedia is the state of endurance under difficult circumstances, which can mean persevering in the face of delay or provocation without acting on annoyance/anger in a negative way; or exhibiting forbearance when under strain, especially when faced with longer-term difficulties.

Yep, I do not have patience. I am trying to handle my "delay" without it affecting me negatively, but I feel like this has been like taming King Kong. And it has been a little destructive, but I am trying to overcome it daily. God gave me a few people to aspire to: Noah waited 120 years and endured ridicule for his promise to come to pass. Abraham and Sarah waited 25 years for their child, all the time watching their bodies becoming increasingly older. Joseph waited 13 years in prison before his promise came to pass and he became a position of power in Egypt. So there is a promise to hold tightly, while battling King Kong, "Those that have faith and patience inherit the promises" Hebrews 6:12.

So today I feel honored to know that I am a player in the plan God has had in place... no matter how long the wait is. God just called us to obedience and we have done everything we can. And GOD is so much bigger than I give him credit. He is showing us a glimpse of this today through the generosity of so many people that HE IS IN THIS, with $29,140 raised!!!

11 August, 2013

Mae's 4th Birthday

On Friday we got to celebrate at the park. Mae is so fortunate to have some very special friends that love her dearly. All these beautiful smiling children were adopted from China and all of them share a very special friendship.

 Saturday was Mae's birthday!! She woke up ecstatic... this is the first year she really truly understood and remembered from the year before.  For weeks we have counted down the days and it was finally here!! Mae is our little sunshine, she is always so full of joy and most of the time a little silliness too.  These pictures capture her beauty pretty well! She is looking a little more grown up to me  too!

We headed to IHOP for our traditional birthday breakfast.  Mae enjoyed chocolate pancakes and then we headed downtown to the Children's Museum. We actually took her here last year for her birthday too but it was such a good time we thought we would go back. This year she was a little older and got more into everything. It was SO MUCH FUN! I was bursting with pride as I watched her go from one activity to the next. She is incredible and all the time I can't believe she is ours!

This year we went for a no-fuss birthday... just simple fun with family. I didn't even make her cake, although I had intentions to.  We went to the store and she picked her sunshine cookie cake. How perfect for my little sunshine?! 

Mae got special gifts from very special people in her life. Whenever she opens gifts she wants to just play with the first one and forgets all about opening the others. I love this about her. So if you give this girl a tutu she will dance... I feel like this is the missing book in the "if you give a mouse a cookie" series.

Cody and I got her an ubooly. It's an interactive toy that encourages creative play. Ubooly is a stuffed doll that uses an app on the iPhone and interacts with children by asking them questions, playing imaginative games with them, tells jokes, and stories. I think it's one of the coolest little inventions for children. I'm telling you all about it so you can go check it out. (: www.ubooly.com

I can get pretty sappy pretty quickly when it comes to talking about my kids; we are blessed beyond measure. Our darling Mae is so uniquely beautiful and we celebrate her life every day. God gets all the glory for this one!! I can not help but praise him when I see how perfectly he placed this child into our family. She does not share our DNA and I do not get to think back to the day she was born. I don't even know what we were doing on that day, but I was created to be Mae's mom. She was 20 months old when we got her and there are some parts of her story that we may never know, but I hope that she will never doubt the hand of God in her life. She is so completely loved and so many people are a part of her story. I am beyond grateful to all those that have loved our girl, both near and far. There is no doubt that Mae has made an incredible mark on the lives of those that have cared for her. Mae is a very special girl and I am humbled to be her mother.

09 August, 2013


Our little girl turns FOUR on Saturday.  Last night we had a pre-celebration with Mae's Nonna and Boppy because they won't be in town on Saturday. This year we are making things simple, with no party and no big fuss. Mae is getting to celebrate her birthday multiple times, so it's going to be more like a birthweek—than a birthday!  I decorated the house while Mae was taking a nap and she was so thrilled when she got up.
Mae opened a few special gifts from her Nonna and Boppy and her Nanny. 
Mae LOVES happy cake~and requested purple cake this year, so her Nonna made her "whocolate" cupcakes with pretty purple frosting.  She started out using a fork but eventually just dug in and got dirty.  It's the best way to get the job done! (; 
So there's new news in the Lekberg home.  We've adopted again... this is Holly and she is the sweetest doll baby. She's like a living teddy bear (: She is 2 1/2 years old and is a chocolate wire-haired labradoodle. Holly is incredibly gentle, beyond sweet, and our family is smitten with her. Did I mention CUTE??

More celebration to come!!

02 August, 2013

Jovie UPDATE!!

We just received an update on our baby girl!!! I feel so relieved!!

They have said that her current health is good. Thank you, Jesus!! She is walking and can say "mama" and "nainai" (which is grandmother). She's getting so big! It is great news that she is walking; that means that her heart isn't holding her back! Halleluiah!!!

They call her Ming Yu (Yu is pronounced like the letter "U"). They did say she has stranger anxiety...which is good to know and prepare for. She will most likely have a difficult time with us in the beginning, but that is very expected.

She is 1yr 7m and weighs 19.5 lbs and is 30.7 inches (78 cm)— Ian's update said he is 79 cm. So they are almost the same height! She must be long and lean.  Her chest circumference is a few cm smaller than his and he weighed 24.4 lbs

She looks so precious and I loooove getting to see her finally!! From her picture it looks like she enjoys apples too (: I love her so much and she doesn't even know that she has a mommy and daddy, sister and brother!!

30 July, 2013

Love at First Sight

 I took these pictures of Mae last year and I love seeing how she's grown!

Today marks the day that we first got a glimpse of Mae.  It was 3 years ago today that we very excitedly called our agency about a little girl that had captured our hearts and first got to lay eyes on the one that we now call ours forever.

The night before this day I remember very well. We had been looking at the CCAI waiting children that they would post on their website...  They normally had around 20 children posted and would add new ones every week or so.  When I looked at the website July 29, 2010, they had put up a few new children and Mae was one of them.  Almost always they would have pictures and a few paragraphs about each child describing their special need. With Mae's they did not add any pictures... They said her special need was epilepsy and anemia and just a few details about her personality and beginnings.

I remember being at our print shop and reading her profile to Cody. (We used to print late at night after work.) That night I remember calling my mom and my sister around 11pm (waking them up) wanting to read to them about this precious little girl. I know her epilepsy scared us a little bit but I also know I did not get any sleep that night. The next morning I started refreshing the CCAI website every few minutes, hoping that they would add her pictures.  I might be a little crazy, but I know I refreshed their page on my phone a thousand times... and every time I talked to Cody he would ask if they had any pictures of her yet.

Finally, late in the afternoon they added her picture and I have never experienced love at first sight because I truly believe I loved her even before this.  I texted Cody immediately with her pictures and we both knew she was meant for us. We called our agency and requested her full file.  (They send you the children's full file with more medical details so that you can meet with your doctor or specialist to make sure you are comfortable with the child's special need.)

So, for those of you that didn't know, our Mae had many, many seizures in China. She got very sick and would get very high fevers... but her seizures were not epilepsy.  When we got home from China she was completely cleared with a perfect bill of health. And today she is the healthiest kid we know. Thank you, Jesus!

29 July, 2013

Monday Funday :: Paper Mache Tea Cups

We used:
  • Elmer's glue
  • paint brushes
  • scissors
  • toilet paper rolls
  • scraps of paper
What you do:
  • Mix together 1/2 elmers glue and 1/2 water make your paste. 
  • Paint your paste onto the cardboard or dip your strips of paper into the paste. Mae does not like getting her hands messy, so we painted ours...but part of the fun could be getting messy.
  • Continue to cover the cardboard, layering your strips until the whole thing is covered.
  • Cut around the edges and let it dry 2-3 hours.

To make the tea cups:
  • Cut a small part of it off, to make the handle. I cut it and doubled it where it is glued to the mug, creasing it to make a "D".
  • Then make 4 slits to fold inward and glue them with a glue gun—this will make the bottom.
To make the tea pot:
  • I placed a plastic bag over a glass, that was the size I wanted for the tea pot.
  • I began to layer the paper mache over the glass, using at least 3 layers. 
  • The handle is from a part of a tiolet paper roll, the same way as the cups. 
  • The spout was made by just rolling up the paper after it was dipped it in the paste. 
  • I glued everything, once it was dry.


With the Raffle ending Thursday {for the coolest little bike ever} I had planned to blog today reminding everyone. What I did not expect was an email from Paypal letting us know they had a problem... we are in violation because they do not allow raffles.

Sooooo, we are rule breakers...but that's not going to stop us from trying our hardest to raise money and honor the incredibly generous company, Durable Toys, that has donated us this tricycle. We really would love to raise the rest of the money for Ian and Jovie with this last fundraiser. We are so close, y'all!!!

First, let me tell you why this is the coolest little bike ever... Kids go bananas for them because it has massive air tires that give the rider that BIG-truck feeling.  They are made in the USA and built to last.  One of the things people love about these trikes is that the seat adjusts up and down the whole length of the bar.  And these trikes meet a wide range of needs.  They've had calls about these from moms of children with special needs, such as missing limbs, autism, and Downs Syndrome.  Some say that the shape of the straight Valley Road and Speedway Express handlebars has helped their children ride.

A Valley Road Amish Tricycle

Others say that the hefty, weighted feel of a chunky, heavy-duty trike works just right for their kids.  Whatever the reason, they are thrilled that the trikes work well for many of these kids.  As the company founder said, "Everybody needs some wheels!"
Comes in color of your choice: 

  1. Red 
  2. Blue
  3. Green
  4. Pink 

So if you are interested in being a part of our fundraiser, and would like to purchase tickets we are making this as easy as we know how! 

Please just leave us a comment here, or on Facebook, or email me: kristenlekberg@gmail.com. 

Leave the amount of tickets you want to purchase, with your email address:

  • 1 ticket for $5

  • 3 tickets for $10

  • 10 tickets for $25

    We will contact you with digital tickets, showing you which raffle numbers you have, and we will provide our address so you can mail us your check. 

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