Thursday, June 30, 2011

And here's Keane!

Another gotcha day in China!  We got Keane -- as soon as we got to Guangzhou, we dropped our luggage at the lobby and went straight to the civil affairs office - he was waiting there with his friend and the director of his orphanage.  We still had to do the paperwork "prior" to seeing him or spending any time with hiim - it was pretty funny - like we couldn't see each other in the "get your baby room"! Very funny.  Keane brought gifts for all his brothers and sisters! He didn't even have a toothbrush, but he managed to have jello things, toy push cars and some fruit for everyone!  Wow! (And people actually think he is the lucky one).

Can you tell he fits right in?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Thank You!

Just wanted to simply say thank you to all of you that made this little smile possible for us.  What an amazing God we serve!                Mike

Here's Liam

Praise God For Liam!!!
Everyone say hello to our new baby boy -------------- Liam Patrick.  What a beautiful little baby boy he is.  Grace even said "He's the cutest baby in the whole world!" They've been playing, touching, feeding, rubbing and oogling over him since we got him.  The rest of us have a hard time getting any time with him.  I wonder if he expected to have 3  mommies all at the same time.
His nanny and the director came in to bring him to us at the civil affairs office.  The minute the nanny handed him to Jenn, he started to scream.  Then he knew where the nanny was and kept trying to end run the 8 of us to get back to her.  He and the nanny were both in tears - it was good to see that the nanny loved him. After about 15 minutes he calmed down and was great all day yesterday.  He ate everything we fed him and slept about 12 hours.  We had to wake him up for breakfast this morning.  We went to the civil affairs office to sign all the paper work this morning and then went to the Confucius temple area with our guide Michael.  Liam was laughing and giggling all day,but wants Jenn to carry him everywhere. He screamed every time we put him in the stroller. He is a little more clingy today,but is really doing great considering his entire world  just changed. 

 Tomorrow we fly to Guangzhou and will meet Keane around 2pm.  We can't wait to meet him.  I can't even imagine what he must be feeling. Please pray this will be an easy transition for him, and we will be able to give him what he needs to help him to adjust to his new life.


Saturday, June 25, 2011

We Made It!

We have landed in Shanghai for step #1!  We left our house and headed out for the 1pm flight to Chicago.  No seats left! So we waited around for the 5pm flight because our luggage made it and would sit there until we got there.  We found out the airlines will not forward the 8 bags to Shanghai until we get there and request they forward them.  Uh-oh.  The LA flight had a ton of seats open but now we're committed to go through Chicago.  The last direct flight had 3 seats on it -- but there was still a connection through Miami that had enough seats for the boys and I to get to Chicago in time for the Shanghai flight! 

Praise God for my job with American Airlines that we can all fly around the world for free!  So, we mostly got seats together and made it to Shanghai.  We were met at the airport by some Christian friends that are "English teachers", they got us on the subway to their apt for a great meal and a super night's rest.  Church this morning - it's easy to be on time when you wake up at 3:15am! Train to Nanjing this afternoon, we get to meet Liam tonight or tomorrow morning, and then Keane on Thursday! 

Yes the train to Nanjing.  We're cutting all cost for this trip so we could afford to bring the boys. They raised enough money selling puppies and books online to pay the extra cost for having them along for the experience.    Another praise to God that I have an adventurous wife that is willing to ride on the train across China (even in an overnight sleeper car) to keep expenses down.  Our older boys will be helping at the Shanghai healing home on the way home. We went there yesterday and what sweet babies.  We all gave them lots of love and we wanted to bring them all home.

We can't believe that we will be meeting Liam tomorrow.  Praying that he will be able to love us quickly, and that we can help him grieve for what he has left behind.


Friday, June 17, 2011

I-800 Approval Today - Nat'l Visa Center and Guangzhou tomorrow!

While we were putting up the crib for Liam, we got an email from USCIS.

This is the paper we've been waiting for for the last two weeks! Our officer gave us same day approval, emailed the PDF copy to the Nat'l Visa Center who will forward the I-800 approval (797) to the Guangzhou Consulate later on today.  So our paperwork will be in China in less than 24 hours.  If you're not familiar, this getting to China in time to adopt Keane was one of the long poles in the tent.  Well it looks like that HUGE HURDLE is behind us. 

-Thanks to all the US Govt workers that beat the standard processing time.
-Thanks to Heidi at Children's House who drove in to work at 1:30 in the morning to fax stuff to China that they needed at the start of all this.
-Thanks to the orphanage director who was part of the advocating process to make Keane's situation known.
-Thanks to my wife who manages to keep it all together and run a full household: from diaper changing to summer schooling at the Rhetoric level.
-Thanks be to God for the lessons we're all learning about how He is involved even in the details.

GOD is so GOOD!

Twins with 12 years between them will soon be our sons!  Isn't that great?  Jenn and I are so excited to be meeting our 1 and 13 year olds next week!!!  We wanted to get on here and post specifically a thank you to everyone that has so generously and tirelessly supported us throughout all of this.  We truly could not have done this without support from so many of you out there - some that we don't even know.

We are up to almost $14,000 out of the $17,000 goal.

This was a total leap of faith for us - we had no idea where the money would come  from to cover the added expense of the second adoption; but we know God and that he owns the cattle on a thousand hills.  We have been overwhelmed with messages, prayer and donations from all around the world.  I have been personally convicted that I have not been as generous with "my" finances as I could have been at times in the past - I see clearly how they are actually "HIS" finances that I'm managing for a while in order to grow His Kingdom.  This has really been humbling for me to see donations from under five dollars up to thousands of dollars come in from friends and friends of friends and others that have "stumbled" upon our blog that we've not met yet.

I also want to thank all of you that have been silently praying for us.  Your job isn't over!!!! Long row to hoe in the McQuade garden when we get back.  We'd like you to keep praying (for about 17 years or so) - right now our family is praying that Liam is happy and healthy and that we'll have his special needs repaired without any issues.  More so, we are very specifically praying that God is softening Keane's heart toward his new brothers and sisters and mama and baba.  It may seem that meal times will be the same as at the orphanage with a big table, big pots of pea soup and a bench seat, but for the most part that little guy's life is about to change in a way that I can't even fathom.  Everything he's known his entire life is about to change - everything. One of our daughters had a lot of difficulty attaching/bonding to our family because of her experiences in her orphanage prior to being adopted at 16 months old.  Our family has grown a lot through the process of her healing, and it has opened our eyes to the reality of what these children go through. Please pray the God would give us grace to be patient, wise, consistent, insightful, diligent and most of all loving in a tender way that would speak to Keane's heart and break down any walls of reservation that would prevent him from totally surrendering to our love and ultimately God's love through us.

Thanks so much to everyone, and God gets all the Glory!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Chicken Swap

Our boys started a business this winter and are hatching and selling baby chicks. Things were going well,but now a new batch has hatched and they have 10 days to sell 18 chicks. They are headed to the local chicken swap this Saturday. We may have to find a chick sitter.


We were so excited as a family to be starting this adoption journey again to bring home a child under 3. Stefani at CHI found our little boy, Liam, quickly through the shared list for us -- before we were even logged in.

During this loooong wait I would read the stories of these older children, who so desperately wanted a family. It broke my heart to read their stories and I advocated for them on the yahoo groups and our blog. We prayed for these children and rejoiced when they found their forever families. We cried as we watched so many loose that chance. God was changing our hearts as a family. So, just last week, as we were driving to church on Sunday, I received the first message from Sheri and Katherine (with Gifts To China With Love) about a 14 year old boy, and how he longed to have a family. His time was running out and in a few short weeks he would turn 14 and his chance for a family would end. I uploaded his pictures to my phone and prayed, "Lord, find him a family."

He needed a family that could be in China by July 1st and that family would have to start the process in the next few days. My heart broke for this boy, he had waited for a family for so long and had watched so many others find their mama and baba. I shared his story at church and continued to pray. We talked about him as a family and then two days later during dinner I said,"Do you think that this boy is our son?" All of our 6 children were saying yes, as my husband talked about all the things to consider about adopting an older child. Our family who at the beginning of this adoption journey had only considered a child under 3 were now begging to please bring home a 14 year old. God had opened our hearts towards adopting an older child and not any older child, specifically our son Keane. We are all so excited to be bringing this great boy home. We were not planning on two children at once, and we still need to raise the money for Keane's adoption in just a few short weeks. We are trusting God and know His plans are always perfect.

We Heard From The Lockbox

After 6 days of e-mailing the lockbox and getting our congressman involved,we received a reply. They have sent our I800A and I800 to the NBC!! Now we are praying for quickness that we can get it through the NBC,NVC and onto Guangzhou before we board a plane in 10 days. WE ARE PACKING!!!!! Can't wait to meet our boys.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Front Page of Paper!!!!

 Read the Article

We called the Lakeland Ledger newspaper and told them about our fundraiser where we were fixing up an 87-year-old widow's home in our community.  They came out and took pictures and just ran the story in Sunday's paper - front page of the local section!

What a blessing.  They listed our blog address and a lot of other info about our upcoming deadline for raising the funds we need for travel.

We pray that this will raise awareness in the local community and encourage other people to visit their neighbors and shine the light of Christ by helping them out.  We also hope it will encourage other families that are considering adoption but don't think they can afford it.

Friday, June 10, 2011


We were so excited to get a letter today from Keane. He knows we are coming and that he has a family. Thank you Sheri and Katherine from Gifts To China With Love. We cannot wait to meet him in a few weeks. Here is his sweet letter to us.

Dear Baba and Mama
Thank you for giving me a forever lovely home. I am so happy to be one of your family members.
I was growing up from the orphanage. I love the orphanage ,the people, the kids. I love this big family. They brought to me so much love and happiness.
I am a happy boy. I love singing and sports. I love to work. I help the kids to repair some toys. I can repair some small electricties.
I am getting along with people and children very well. I will not make people unhappy with me.
I am so happy that I have many brothers and sisters. I hope you will come very soon!

I know this has to be so hard for him to be leaving everything that he has ever known. Praying he will know he is loved.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


We got LOA for Keane last night,but all of our paperwork is stuck at the lockbox in Texas.  This is a big black hole where there is no way to connect with a person.  We are being told TWO WEEKS!!!  After calling our congressman and faxing them all our information, they are going to try to help us. Praying we hear something back later today. Thank you Congressman Ross and staff!!!!!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Both Hands Project Update

McQuade Both Hands Project Video from Mike McQuade on Vimeo.

We all had a great time at Mrs V's house on Saturday. If you prayed, donated, worked, sponsored, drove, fed or babysat, you helped us get one huge step closer to our sons!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Thank you!

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Countdown Begins

We are in the mad paperchase dash.  Only 3 weeks and we need to be in China.  We just mailed the homestudy addendum and I800A and I800 off to the USCIS.  We woke up at 5am and drove to Orlando and met the social worker to get the homestudy addendum notarized before she went to work.  We then drove to Tampa to meet the other social worker that had to also sign and notarize the addendum,then across the street to Fed Ex and off to the Texas lockbox with a cover letter explaining our plea for expedited service.  Praying, praying, praying this works and they will get this big pile of paper to the Missouri USCIS office.

We stopped at WalMart and got a few things for the suitcases.  I didn't realize how hard it would be buying everything for a 14 year old.

Friday, June 3, 2011

PA for Keane!

Children's House is great. Here are the words from Heidi:
"PA!-wahooooooooooooo this is grand what a wonderful team effort- THANKS.   Keane, you don't know it yet but we WILL get you home!!!!

They are so awesome to work with!

We got PA this morning at 2:39!  We've got 28 days before HP turns 14,so we are in high gear and plan to stay in the left lane for this journey.  It'll be great to see how God works all of this out=what a lesson for our family to see first hand that nothing is impossible with God.
8 months of paperwork is all coming together in just a few really long days and our fundraiser with BothHands is tomorrow! Lots of $$$ to raise, but God owns the cattle on a thousand hills. We've got our seat belts fastened and we're holding on; please pray that we don't miss any of these great lessons from God.