Lyla's Story

I can honestly say that I never wanted to be a mother of only one child. There is nothing wrong with families that only have one child, some of my best friends only have one...I always wanted a big family...always! When we adopted Liem on 1-22-03, I came to the realization that we would probably never be able to adopt again. That thought process was obviously my reasoning, not God's. I just assumed that we would not be able to adopt again since it is so expensive. For the past three or so years my heart has been heavy. I truly wanted another child. In 2007, I went through some major changes in my job. Long story short, 5 people in my office were let go (myself included) and we all grouped together and started a new insurance agency. We ended up in a lawsuit with my former employer. In March of 2009 I could tell that we would probably settle the lawsuit soon. This is when I began talking to Jeff about adopting again. He was open to it, but not sold. Over the next few months, we discussed options on what country, what gender, and what age. Jeff was adamant that he didn't want an infant again. He didn't want to go through diapers and formula again! I was open to anything, it didn't matter to me what country, or what age. We ended up settling our lawsuit and I received my settlement check on Friday, June 26, 2009.

June 26, 2009. A date that changed our lives forever! Not only did I receive my settlement check that day, but Jeff received the email below also...
We wanted to quickly circulate this e-mail because we have the opportunity of placing two very healthy six year old girls that are on a China special needs list because of their age. They are very bright and healthy and have had excellent orphanage and foster care to this point. Both are lovely girls with so much potential. These children need to be placed with families that are very motivated to move forward quickly and can finish the BCICS requirements and have a dossier completed within three months. Please let us know asap if you are interested in learning more about these beautiful girls. thank you!

We got immediate chills and were both in tears. Jeff never checks his work email when he gets home, but that Friday he wasn't in the office so he wanted to check it before we went to dinner. He looked at me and said what do you think? I said YES. Yes of course, this is God telling us that he is providing once again! We didn't need a photo, we didn't need any other info. He replied and told them that we were very interested but we had a huge dilemma. I wouldn't turn 30 until October 21, 2009 and our dossier had to be in China by the end of October. We emailed Marvin & Carol back and forth all weekend and spent time on the phone with them as well. We found out that my age wouldn't be a problem, Lifeline would be careful about when they sent our file to China so they could make sure I was 30 by the time it arrived. What a stressful & exciting weekend it was. I had already planned a weekend in Tulsa with my mom. It was so hard not telling her what was happening. She just thought that Jeff was bored and kept texting/emailing me all weekend! Little did she know, she was about to become a grandma again!! By Monday, July 29th, we had received Lyla's file with pictures and a video. We were in love immediately. They said she was outgoing, friendly and was ready for a home and a family! We immediately started our paperwork. We told our families on July 4th about Lyla! We gave each of them an envelope with a photo of her and a pink bubble gum cigar that said "It's a girl"! It took a few of them a minute to realize what was happening! Everyone was very excited to say the least! Like I've said before, we have the best support system for our children! There are so many people that love them!

The next milestone email came on October 31st (10 days after I turned 30):
Your dossier was logged-in on October 30th! Karla

Life is good! We finished all of our paperwork and flew to China in February. We got Lyla on 2-22-10! Older child adoptions are WAY different than infants! I was stressed beyond belief in China! She was so excited to meet us! As soon as we were in the room to adopt her she ran out saying "mama, mama"! Immediate tears once again! In the beginning, she was not a fan of Liem. AT ALL! She didn't want him to be close to her, and did not want him to touch her, pat her, hold her hand, hug her. nothing. It made him sad, but my how times have changed! They love each other so much it is amazing! They were born to be together. He loves her today as much as he did the day we adopted her! I am so thankful for such an amazing family!
First Photo
All of the pics below are from the day we met her thru today.

People ask us all the time if we are done adopting. I tell them that we are too young to say we are done. I will say that if we do adopt again then it will definitely be an older child. It is so rewarding, especially to see how far Lyla has come in the short time since we adopted her. She looks like a whole new child! She is settled in and is really beginning to talk a lot! She is doing fairly well in school, but has a LONG way to go. Please continue to pray for her. This has been a hard transition for her. She is so far behind mentally and emotionally, but she has come so far already! I love this sweet princess so much! She is compassionate, beautiful, funny, clumsy as can be, dramatic, over the top, girlie girl. I can't imagine life without her. She has changed our family dynamic for the better! She has made us appreciate life so much more. I love you Princess Lyla!