The Journey of a Lifetime

Ryan and I have decided to pursue our forth adoption and add another beautiful baby to our family. We couldn't be happier and are thrilled! Join us in our journey in adopting baby Schlenner!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Ethiopian Orphans in our HEARTS

There have been some major changes in the international Ethiopian adoption program. The country itself has reduced adoptions to nearly 90% percent the number of foreign adoptions it is processing. Cases are being processed in a "more deliberate" manner because of concerns about unethical behavior.

My heart breaks for the families that are waiting for their children they will never get. My heart breaks for orphans who will never have a family, nor a mother's love. Please pray for these families that are heark broken and pray for the children who never even got a chance.

There are about a handful of countries that offer international adoption in the whole world! Out of the handful of countries there are now 3 countries, China, Korea and Ethiopia, that have vastly haulted their international adoptions. That number directly hits home...our home! We have children from each of these countries that are now going through termoil.

This could have been us. We could have been that family that was heart broken. Why did it work for us 4 times, while others suffer. We are so unbelievably LUCKY to have our girls and baby Magnus, who is waiting for us in China! Our family could have been significantly affected...I am so sad for the families and children.

I am passionate about international adoption and I want to advocate for the orphans around the world who are waiting for families-but have bureaucracy , politics, and paperwork in the way. I have to believe that everything happens for a reason, and somehow somewhere God will reveal his plan and it will be made clear. But for now I am just grateful, humbled, and blessed for our 4 children. Keep our dear friends who are dealing with this now, the families who are heart broken, and the children of these countries in your everyday prays.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Oh Baby!!!! You did WHAT??????????

This is a very funny story that I just HAD to share! You will sure get a laugh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!The girls were in their playroom playing babies in their play house! They had some of Ahnya's old baby things (diapers, pull-ups, blankies, bottles, potty chair, etc) that they were playing with! They were having fun and then I noticed that Gabriella and Jocelyn were upstairs and Ahnya was missing. Every now and then I would check on Ahnya and say, "How you doing Ahnya?" and she would say "Good Momma, I am playing!" So I pretty much let her go until..........things were toooo quiet! The kind of quiet that only a mom knows that something is very wrong.

So I yelled down the stairs, "Ahnya how are you doing?"

Ahnya replies, "Berry Good Momma, I am poop'in in my potty!"

I quickly replied, "What are you doing honey?"

And of course Ahnya says, "Good Momma, I am poop'in in my baby potty! And it's so stinky in my house!!"

I looked at the big girls, Gabriella and Jocelyn, and their eyes were huge and they said, "Oh no, we took out the baby potty from the storage room!!!"

Aaahhhh!!!! The girls and I run down stairs and this is what we find...lil' Ms. Ahnya sitting on her baby potty chair in her playhouse! And yes, it was very VERY stinky!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Have a good laugh and Have a super fun day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, May 16, 2011

2 years ago....

Only two short years ago you were living in a little hut in Africa. You had no idea what your life would hold...but God had a plan, we listened, and we followed it! We always joke that Africa just wasn't "ready" for lil' Ms. Ahnya. She has a BIG personality and an even BIGGER voice. There's NO way that hut was going to sustain her. Things were just meant to be! May 15th I traveled to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and saw you for the first time in the orphanage. Your big chocolate brown eyes were astonishing. It was love at first sight! I couldn't get you out of there fast enough and in my arms!This was the porridge you ate happily. It's no wonder why you love hot cereal so much!And TWO years later you are perfect in every way and we are so blessed to have you as our daughter! Happy Gotch'a Day sweet lil' Ahnya! We love you to pieces!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Happy Gotch'a Day Ahnya

Sunday, May 15th was lil' Ms. Ahnya's Gotch'a Day Celebration! And what a beautiful day it was!!!

Ahnya loves cake MORE than anything!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Especially chocolate cake!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Happy Gotch'a Day my lovie! Two years ago I carried you out of the orphanage and we never looked back.

Gabriella and Jocelyn shared in the afternoon of fun outdoors playing in the back yard!

You've come a long way baby!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Spring 2011 Dance Recital!!!!!!!!!!!!

The girls had a big DANCE weekend!!! Gabriella and Jocelyn were in a tumbling routine (black leotards above), and then ballet dance, and tap dance routine! Three dances were a work out!! The girls did fabulous and we're so proud of their accomplishments this year!!!

Here's Annie, Jocelyn, Ella and Gabriella posing together for the last time dancing together. It was amazing to watch them dance together on stage but terribly hard knowing that it was the last time. Our besties, Annie and Ella, are moving to Clara Cityand we are going to miss them so much. It was definately bitter sweet.

Ella and Gabriella really had an excellent growth year! Their coordination, ability and poise is really amazing to watch!!!!!!!!!!!! So glad they shared four years of dance together!!!!!!!!! Best friends forever!

And Annie and Jocelyn did a super great job too! Little Jocelyn has made great strides in tumbling, ballet and tap. The girl just has a special talent for dance. It comes easy for her and it's so fun to watch!!!!

I love this pic for many reasons... it speaks volumes!!!!!! It was a great dance year and we're so glad we experienced it again with the Bourne Girls!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We love you Ella and Annie!!!! Thanks for the many dance memories together...and here's to many more memories we'll make down the road.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Good Bye 5 Year Old Preschool!

Thursday was Jocelyn's last day of 5 year old preschool. Mrs. Macht is an amazing teacher and we are very grateful to her for a great year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Jocelyn loves her to pieces!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks for a great year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Jocelyn had a blast!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Finishing up another great year of dance!

The girls have another week of tap, ballet and tumbling and then we are taking the summer off!!!! They have excelled and have done a great job this year. Jocelyn has perfected her cartwheels, and Gabriella has mastered handstand-bridges in tumbling!!!!!!!
Next weekend is our Spring Dance Recital!!!!!!!!! The girls will have ballet dance, a tap dance, and tumbling routine! Nice job sweeties!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Spring Violin Recital

Last weekend, as busy as it was, we managed to squeak in a violin recital, too!
Can you see which child is the character here??????????????
Whenever I TRY to take pictures, the child in the middle ALWAYS does this with her face!!!!!!!!!! Ahnya gets silly and giggly and squishes up her eyes, nose and mouth!!!!!!!!! I love this pic and had to put it in because it cracks me up!!! However, I want apologize in advance to Ms. Dudgeon, who teaches kindergarten, because Ahnya's going to give you a run for your money in 4 years!
Gabriella and Jocelyn with their violin teacher, Mrs. Wright! Thank you for another great year.
Gabriella played "Song of the Wind" at the recital!
Ms. Jocelyn played "Lightly Row Row." She informed me during the recital that she wants to learn to play the cello too! Who knows what they'll be playing next year!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, May 9, 2011

We Have A Name!!!!

We Have A Name.....
Let me introduce our baby boy! Magnus Ryan Lu Shu Schlenner!! Born 3/24/2010 in Chengdu City, China!!! He is cute as a button, isn't he?!!?!?!?!?!?!??!

Much thought went into this name because names are very important and this baby needed a very important name!! We wanted a name that was masculine with no hint of PINKNESS or remotely close to our girly girl house. Ryan's name means "little King." We wanted a name that was similar to the caliber of "little King." I've had the name picked out for many years. The girls and I fell in love with the name Magnus and swayed Ryan into liking it! Or he just got tired of referring to his son as "China baby."

Magnus, means "the Great!" Lu Shu is his Chinese name. Lu means, "boy" and Shu means "tiger," because he was born in 2010 in the Year of the Tiger. So we are naming our baby boy Magnus Ryan Lu Shu, which means The Great Little King Boy Born in the Year of the Tiger! Perfect!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Here is his referral file that we received late Thursday evening around 10:45 p.m. via email. I still can't believe it happened!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am so unbelievably thankful...we have FOUR amazing, beautiful, healthy, loving children.
Baby Magnus has many many MANY layers upon layers of clothing in these pictures. China believes in keeping the babies very bundled up!!!

That's our baby! We're tickled..........BLUE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Definitely BLUE!!!!!!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Time for Tea

Great Auntie "Fancy Nancy" came over Saturday morning and had a Tea Party with the girls! It was adorable and everything was FANCY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
First the girls read the book..................
Then, they all went and got dressed in "fancy" clothes, hats, purses, etc.
Oh, here was the invite!
Rule # 36: Do not invite toddlers to fancy tea parties!
Ahnya did not like following the rules about drinking tea! She kept saying, "stop it guys!"
Every table should have a beautiful bouquet of flowers on it!
Rule # 12: Always drink tea with your pinkies up!
Rule # 4: You must always have fancy finger food to eat when having tea!
It was an exceptionally wonderful tea party! Thank you Nancy!!! We LOVE you!!!!!!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Girls Just Wanna Have FUN!!!!!!

Gabriella and Maya celebrated their birthdays together on Saturday and had a fun girly birthday party in Minneapolis!!! We packed up a bunch of girls Saturday morning and headed to the cities to watch "ANNIE" live at the Children's Museum and then lunch at the American Girl Bistro in the Mall of America!
Here's the pretty group of girls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They really are as sweet as they look!
The BIRTHDAY girls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Wearing their BFF necklaces!
Gabbi opening her gifts!
It was a super fun day! Annie was fantastic!! Jami and I were so glad Ryan and Jake came with and drove because us mom's had our hands full with the girls in the vehicles! Thanks for a very special day Jami and Jake!! And Happy Birthday Gabriella and Maya! I couldn't have picked two more appreciative little girls than you two!

Recovering from Shock!

We are happily recovering from our shock and excitement with news that we infact have a baby boy waiting for us in Chengdu City, Sichuan Prov. in China. I had to share these pics because their expressions show exactly what they felt when we told each of the girls of the news that we got the referral of their baby brother!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Gabriella was the first one we told....because she IS the BIG sister!!!!!!!! Gabriella first had tears, then lots of tears of joy, and then HAPPINESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yeah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Jocelyn was the next to be informed of the news..............she immediately started jumping up and down on her bed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And then she grabbed her blankie and cuddled up on her bed and said "I'm exhausted Momma!" HA! I have no idea where she's heard that one before!
And that leaves lil' Ahnya! I woke her up.....this is exactly what she looked like!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Then I told Ahnya that I had some good news to tell her about China baby....she put her hands on her cheeks and said Oh My Gosh momma! Perfect!

At this point now, it's a paper pushing timeline of wait to travel. I was told by our agency that they give very conservative timelines and at this point we can expect to travel end of summer/early fall. So worst case scenario hopefully we travel end of September early October.

For now, we need to pick a name for this baby...otherwise, he will forever be China baby! Secondly, I do not have ANYTHING remotely close to boy clothes, necessities, toys, ETC! All I have is PINK everything! China baby is going to be exactly what this home needs!!!!!!!!!!!! Ryan and I are going to need this whole summer to save, research, prepare and pack for travel.

Ryan and I are going to bring the girls with on this adoption trip to China. There is no way in the world, at the ages they are, that I would ever leave them at home and proceed without them. We are a family and we are in this journey together. Grandma Peggy is going to be joining us on our trip to China, too. She will be a great help with the children as we travel and an extra set of hands!

That's it for now! I'll post more info when I know it!