Thursday, December 29, 2011


It's FINALLY FINALLY here!! WooHoo!! Annabeth has been fingerprinted and the prints have cleared!! Hallelujah!!! We will be leaving for China on January 4th.....VERY early in the morning. Whew!! I am not a very good morning person either. That's okay since I will be extremely excited. I may not even go to bed. We will leave out around 5:30am and arrive in China at 10:30pm on January 5th. If you figure this up, we will arrive in Beijing at 9:30am (Dothan time) on January 5. That means no bath for over a day. If you know me very well, I like my baths. I get it very honestly from my mother and we come from a long line of bathers. God has such a sense of humor. I am going to take every type of wipe possible and travel toothbrushes. I think it's the nurse in me. This is what we do for our children and I am very glad to!! I am so thankful to finally be on our way to get our little one. We are also so thankful to all of our family and friends who will be helping with our children and with our dogs. We would not be able to do this without you and are so thankful for all of your prayers and support through this. We are so excited to see what all God has planned in this and know he has some really neat people for us to meet and great things for us to experience. I feel like I am about to unwrap a very cool present. Please follow us on our Shutterfly ( The password is "seven."
Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you. Deuteronomy 31:8
 Love in Him,

Monday, December 26, 2011

Changing Directions

We have been told by several different friends online that China does not allow Blogger. Since that is the case, we are going to change directions for a few weeks and post everything on Shutterfly. We will be able to easily(hopefully) post pictures and videos and everyone can keep up with our trip in China. You can also sign our guestbook and encourage us along the way (hint hint)! 
Visit us at 
Have a VERY blessed New Year!
Love in Him,       

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Getting Closer!!

Just to give a quick update: We have finally been given a tentative time to travel of January 2012. We are still waiting for Immigration to issue an appointment for Annabeth to be fingerprinted in Birmingham. Once she is fingerprinted, we can GO!! We have also run into the issue of many things being closed in China around New Years. If we traveled during that time, we may be delayed. Our best bet is to leave after the new year, so we won't run into any obstacles along the way. We are sooo excited and getting our house all ready for our new little family member. What a huge blessing we are in for. Have a great day!! Love in Him,

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Our Flower Girl

Oh, we are so counting our blessings this Thanksgiving. 
It is such a blessing to see how happy our little one is.
It seems our little Mary Alan has quite a love for flowers. She shares a common love of them with her Foster Mother and her new Mother. It looks like I am going to have a little gardening helper in the Spring. We are going to have a really good time taking our time, smelling the flowers and taking in all of God's creation. We are going to have so much fun!!
She and her little friend Melissa are talking over the situation.
We are going to have to work on the eating part though. Not a good idea. 
How about this pink cheetah-print jacket. She is already quite a little girly girl. She has no idea what she is in for when she comes to the Colbert house. Pink, pink, and some more pink!!! I love the way she seems to perfectly match all of the flowers in each picture too. 
They also say she is very attached to her Foster Mother, Joan, which I am so thankful for. It is such a blessing she is getting so much love and attention. Because of her attachment to her Foster Mother, she will probably go through a time of grieving which we are totally expecting. This is a good thing though, in the long run, because it shows she was very loved and formed a bond with her caregiver. This is very important.
I am so grateful to New Day Foster Home for providing such an incredible life for our little girl. They have given her such a loving and sweet environment and it is only by God's grace she is there. This place is truly a God-send and a blessing to so many children. Where else would you find a precious little one smelling flowers at her orphanage? Wow!!

If you have any question where you may want to give this Christmas, please go to New Day's website and see how you can help. I have a link to it on the side of my blog. They have many different ways to help and the money is greatly appreciated.

Have a Very Happy Thanksgiving!!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Hop On Baby, It's Gonna Be a Bumpy Ride!

We have been on quite a roller coaster ride for the past few weeks. I absolutely LOVE roller coasters, but I am not sure about this one. I think it equals the Ninja at Six Flags. My neck hurts and I think I may throw up now. Oh, just kidding!! I have to find humor in every situation. If I don't, I will totally go stark raving crazy. I slightly am anyway, I think. Well, the ride began a few weeks ago on October 31st, when we broke the news to our oldest daughter, Annabeth, that we wanted her to go to China with us. She was so excited and couldn't believe we were asking her to go. I worked it out with her school principal who was so sweet to give us her blessing on this. We know this will be a trip of a lifetime for Annabeth and something she will NEVER forget. On that Monday, November 1st, we received an email informing us that our Article 5 had been issued. I am not sure exactly what that means, honestly. I just know it is the final step before we receive our Travel Approval. It is a BIG deal. From that point, we should have 2-3 weeks before we receive the call about our Travel Approval. It was a VERY exciting day, UNTIL......
    The very same day, I started thinking about the fact that our precious firstborn, Annabeth, would be turning 18 on November 3rd. She would now be considered an adult in China. It is hard for me to even conceive of the fact of her being an adult. I am too young to have a child that "grown up"(haha), so I don't even want to think about it. So...., I called our agency and asked if we needed to do anything extra since she was now 18. GOOD THING!! To my unbelievable dismay, they told me we would need to have her fingerprinted in our city, then have her Child Abuse and Neglect clearances done as well as having her fingerprints cleared through the FBI and Immigration. We would also have to add an Addendum to our Home Study. OH baby!! Literally, all I could think about was OUR baby, in China. As it is at this point, we were probably traveling the first few weeks of December, returning right before Christmas. Our little one would be able to spend her very first Christmas with her new family...with her real forever Mommy and Daddy and brothers and sisters. Well, that may not happen, but maybe it will. I have seriously become (through all of this) a "get-it-done" kind of person. By Nov. 2nd, I had Annabeth's fingerprints done and sent off to our agency along with forms for clearances. These were supposed to take up to 3 months to be cleared. We have bathed this in prayer, and to our excitement, we received word yesterday that they have already cleared. We have a few more obstacles to go, but there is a possibility that we may stay on course to go before Christmas. I am trying to hang on to the fact that GOD knows best. Goodness knows I don't. Maybe, I will eventually know the reasons why He wants us to wait longer. I sure wish I could ask Him. I know there are just some things in life we will never know the answers to. We just have to trust that HE is sovereign and has a much bigger plan. It's still tough though! I do know I am still building some serious patience and some real character through this. He is preparing us for something big! Have a great week. Love in Him!

Saturday, October 22, 2011


      Just posting a small update on our progress......I haven't posted anything in a while because we really haven't heard anything or seen any new pictures of Mary Alan. We are anxiously waiting for CCAI to call with our Travel Approval and let us know that China is inviting us to come get our little one. God is still teaching me all about being still and KNOWING that HE is GOD and HE is in control! She is in HIS hands and no one else's. I know He holds the whole world in His hands....even our little girl. He holds her every night, comforts her, protects her and helps her to feel loved. Only He is who she really needs, even more than her Mommy, Daddy or the rest of her family. God is teaching us so much about life in this adoption. He loves all of us more than our parents, our spouses, or any of our family or friends. He is the only one we truly can't live without. I know He loves Mary Alan more than anyone and He knows the perfect timing for her Mama and Baba to go get her. It is shaping up to be a very exciting time in the Colbert home!
        Love in Him,

Monday, September 12, 2011

Can you say "LOA" ??

Woo Hoo!!! We finally received our LOA!! It says "Letter of Seeking Confirmation from Adopter." This means they are now placing us in a travel group and getting everything in line for us to go get our little one. It is dated September 5, 2011 which happens to be my Daddy's birthday. They always seem to be dated on family birthdays or anniversaries. Soooo neat!!! The next family birthday is our son Christian's, on October 7th. He will be 16. Maybe we will have more great news that day, but considering he will be getting his driver's license, that will be pretty exciting all in itself.

    Here is a picture of the poor FedEx guy, who I scared half to death when I opened the door. I said, "Oh my Goodness, you have NO idea how excited I am to see you. I know you have no idea what this is, but it is our ADOPTION PAPERWORK we have been waiting on for over 2 months!!! Can I please take your picture?!!" He was so sweet to let me take his picture and I even took more than one and made him smile. It was really funny. Here he is with the package. He has no idea he is on a blog!!

    We are now expecting to travel by late November to early December. It's gonna be a crazy Christmas, but VERY exciting!!! Can't wait!! Have a GREAT day!!!

Monday, August 29, 2011

From Our Hands to Hers

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like the shifting shadows. James 1:17 

      We are so thankful for God's timing! Just when we were getting a little sad about not seeing our baby, God gave us a little "Happy Day Surprise." A few weeks ago, I sent two care packages to Mary Alan. It took me quite a while to figure out exactly what to put in them. Our agency said it was very important that we send boxes no larger than a shoe box, because they could possibly get lost in customs if they were bigger. This was really hard for me considering that one of my love languages is gift giving. This is our "baby" child. We have not had a baby in our household in 10 years. Does anyone understand this? I want to lavish this little one with all the things she doesn't even know exist yet. So.....I carefully figured out how to squish (is that a word?) as much into these shoe boxes as possible. We filled them with a pink bunny, a baby blanket,  two towels, a few little toys, two little books, two disposable cameras, a little outfit and some accessories to go with it and a photo album of our family. I even spent time translating what was in each picture into Chinese for her foster mother.
Hopefully, I didn't say anything crazy to her in a wrong translation. That wouldn't be good.
      Weeks went by and I was guessing all of our goodies had gotten lost in customs. I really didn't know if these things would make it all the way to her orphanage in China. That is really far away and really hard for me to fathom. I am still having a hard time believing this is really happening.....that we are adopting another child. I still feel like I am pretending. Well....NO more pretending for me. This totally sealed the deal!! If you can see in this picture, she is kissing her mommy and daddy. Needless to say, there were a bunch of tears shed when I saw this.

   She also seems to love her new little pink bunny that her big sisters picked out. They loved it because they both had pink bunnies too.

She also seems to be very interested in our dog, Clementine. My mother commented that she is studying the pictures. I would love to know what is going through that little mind of hers. Hopefully it is not, "What in the world are they getting me in to?" Maybe she is just trying to figure out what in the world is in the picture.

      It is so amazing to have things in our hands and then see them in hers. Amazing!! When I saw these pictures, I finally realized this is really happening, that this is really our little girl. Our agency can say all day that this is the little girl we are matched to, but this concept has been really hard for me to grasp. With these pictures, I can feel such a connection to her now. She has actually seen her mommy and daddy and her brothers and sisters.....and her dog. WOW!! This little "happy day surprise" was a much needed gift from God!! Thank you Lord. You knew exactly what we needed!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Our Little Doll

Yay!!! They finally posted some new pictures of Mary Alan on the New Day Blog. Today's blog for New Day talks all about her and her little friend Melissa. They say she may be a musician when she grows up because she loves musical instruments and loves to dance around when music is played. I think she will fit right in our family. Ivy can't wait to teach her piano and our neighbor, Beth Ann, is planning to teach her how to dance. She should be pretty good if Beth Ann teaches her. This poor child is going to be very busy learning from all of her siblings....and their friends. Hopefully it will all be good.
And then there is the hair......the hair and more hair. We can't wait to get our hands on it. I think by the time we get her, we will be able to do some serious french braiding. I can't believe this little one at 14 months old has this much hair. WOW!! Thankfully, we already have an assortment of ribbons and bows collected through the years, so the girls can do all kinds of interesting hair-do's. I guess she can be like a living American Girl Doll.....except a little Chinese one. We can't wait. Have a Happy Day!!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Burning Question

       Everyone has been asking the big question, "When will we be able to go to China and bring Mary Alan home?" Well, our agency says we have about 2-3 months before we should receive our LOA (Letter of Acceptance) from China. After this point, they say it will be an 11-15 week wait to receive our Travel Approval. We will hopefully travel within a month from that point. So......we are probably looking at December to January as the time we will be going on our big trip to China. This is all depending on the Chinese Government and how quickly they move our paperwork through all of the different channels. I sure wish I could speed this along. This seems like it is taking the same amount of time as it did to have all four of my others, added together! I am learning some serious patience through all of this. I know, when it is all said and done, God's timing is still perfect. He is in control and knows so much better than I do when we need to bring her home. Please be praying for our family. He is still teaching all of us so much through this. Love in Him,

Monday, July 25, 2011

Precious Children

This is a video of New Day Foster Home and it is an INCREDIBLE place! Watch it if you have time. Mary Alan is in it twice. These are such precious children and all little miracles from God. The link on the side of my blog entitled "Baby Milk Money" goes to help the babies at this home and other orphanages in China. Please feel free to donate to them if possible. You may also go to the link to New Day Foster Home to see how to help in other ways

Sunday, July 17, 2011

All Bundled Up

 I love this picture! This shows just how cold 
the winters are in Beijing 
and how they are taking such great care of her!
We have prayed for God to put people in her life
 to protect her and love her from the very beginning. 
He has given us what we requested. Thank you Lord!!

"He will cover you with His feathers,
  He will shelter you with His wings.
  faithful promises are your 
   armor and protection."
  Psalm 91:4 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

I Couldn't Resist

             I am going to share more pictures as I find them. Mary Alan is growing really fast and the hard part is that I haven't gotten to see her as a baby. I haven't gotten to kiss those little cheeks or rub that silky black hair. All I can do is look at the pictures of her and long for the day I get to hold her and kiss her and tell her how much she is loved. Here are a few pictures I have found of her......Goodness knows her hair is growing fast. These are just the baby pictures. More recent ones to come.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Introducing.....Mary Alan Colbert!!!

 On June 22, 2011, I was in the car with Annabeth and Ivy. We were about to place an order in the McDonald's drive-through line. We were excited because we had finally gotten a McDonald's with a double drive-through. Whoopie!! In the big town of Dothan, you get very excited about these things. Well, right as we pulled up and the lady said, "May I interest you in the.....", my phone rang and it was a call from CCAI (our agency). I knew it was THE CALL. Poor lady at McDonald's. I said, "Ma'am, I'll be right back" she was going "Excuse me? Ma'am?, Ma'am?" I pulled over and took the call, as I put it on speaker phone. The lady on the other line said, "I have a little princess you may be interested in." OH MY GOODNESS!!!! I about fell out!!! I got a huge knot in my throat and could barely say the words, "Yes, I would love to hear about her." She began to tell us all about her. She was a year old as of June 6, 2010. This was a guess since they had found her in a bed of flowers under a bridge when she was possibly a month old (I love the bed of flowers part). She has a minor heart condition, but the doctors do not think she will need surgery. She is in New Day Foster Home in Beijing. She said she would send pictures and all of the information to my email and we could let her know if we wanted to adopt her within a week. As you can guess, I flew home, called Kelly on the way, and forwarded the email to him all while driving. NOT a good example to my daughters, but I felt like this would be an exception.  We videoed and talked to Kelly while we all pulled up the email together. I KNEW this was going to be my baby!! As we pulled her information up, we gasped!! She was the most beautiful baby! AB SO lutely adorable!!
          We studied over her information and had our pediatrician look over all of her information. We prayed that if this little one was the baby God had picked for us, that our doctor would have a peace about it too. When she called me back the next day, she said, "I really have a good feeling about this one." As soon as I hung up, I called Kelly and we decided right then to call our agency and make it official. WOW!! It was kind of weird though..... I felt like I was on one of those house hunting shows where they say, "Well, I guess you just bought a house." I think I was in shock. Within minutes, I had gone from a mom of 4 and really feeling like I was pretending to be adopting, to becoming a mom of 5. This was another crazy WOW moment. I had "officially" been catapulted into my tunnel-vision time of thinking non-stop of my baby in far away China. I couldn't think of anything better though. Thank you Lord for your unbelievable answers to my prayers. 
          One of the neatest parts of the whole thing is how I have been praying for our baby since we began our process over a year and a half ago. We have prayed with our children that she would be in a safe place where they were loving on her and taking great care of her. In the back of my mind, I had doubts that she was in a place where they were doing this. I felt she was probably in an orphanage where she was one of about 6 babies being taken care of by a nanny. I felt she was probably spending most of her days in her crib or in a walker, in one room of the orphanage with a cold tile floor. To my absolute amazement, this child has been in the most wonderful place God could have put her. The orphanage she is in is incredible and is paving the way for other orphanages in China. She is actually living with a foster mother and father and she is their only baby. They also have an older daughter who lives with them. It sounds like she is getting lots of love and attention. I think she goes to the orphanage every few days when they go on special outings. She has been very socialized and been in many different environments. She has also seen animals which is a big plus for us. They even have a dog! 
           I don't know why I am so amazed. God amazes me all the time. He just went over and beyond this time. "Now all glory to God, who is able, through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish more than we might ask or think." Ephesians 3:20

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Her Name

      Mary Alan is named after our dearest and most precious friend Alan Wright. Alan was all of our children's Godfather and my husband's absolute best friend. In December of 2010, he went to be with the Lord after a very long and hard fought battle with a malignant brain tumor. He was such a great man and loved the Lord with all his heart. He was very devoted to his family and to being the best father and husband he could be. We will greatly miss him, but know he is having much more fun in Heaven.

Be Still

      In the Fall of 2005, I saw the most precious little baby I had ever laid eyes on. She was unlike my own babies in that she had black hair and those beautiful Asian eyes. She was my friend Nicole Chenoweth's newly adopted daughter, Gracie, from China. I was absolutely mesmerized by her. I don't think I had ever seen an Asian baby up close and all I could do was stare into her little face and take her in. That day was a turning point in my life. God planted a seed in my heart that day that would begin to grow from a dream into an eventual reality. He had a huge plan in store for the Colbert family and we were just getting started.
      Over the next few months, all I could do was think about adoption. All I could focus on was every Asian child I saw on TV or in the mall. All I could talk about to Kelly was having another baby (or adopting one). I had serious "tunnel vision". I prayed like I have never prayed before. I knew God had planted this in my heart for a reason. All I knew was God wanted us to give another child a home, whether it be a teenager, a child from the United States, or a baby from another country (any country). I was open to whatever and however God wanted to use us. The only problem was that Kelly did not feel the same way. He told me he just wasn't "feelin' it." He was like many husbands and just fine with our four children we already had. He did not want to add to the family circus and was good with the chaos and fun we already endured.
       Finally, one morning in the shower (yes the shower), I was praying and asking God to please show me what He wanted me to do. I was crying out to Him like never before. "God, please tell me!! I can't take this anymore!!" In the quiet of that moment I saw in my mind the words "Be still and wait patiently on the Lord." I sat for a minute and couldn't believe it. He told me to be still? What in the world did that mean? I am never still. I can't BE STILL. I have to be doing and moving and doing some more. That's just how I am. So, I went on with my day, pondering over what He was trying to tell me. 
       A few days later it was our anniversary and I went to a christian book store to find Kelly an anniversary gift. I was searching for that perfect, thoughtful, touching, sappy gift to give him when I was drawn to a large black and white picture of an oak tree. I walked over to it and read it. To my amazement it said, "Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him." I was getting the point. For some reason, God was wanting me to stop and be still. I did buy the picture for Kelly and he loved it, but he didn't know the whole meaning behind it. 
       The next Sunday morning we were in our worship service and our music minister began singing a solo. To my amazement again, he sang a song called "Be Still". Unbelievable!!! OK. Can I scream now!! I get it Lord!! I am going to be quiet now and stop talking about adopting and babies and worrying about what to do. No more!! I explained what I had learned from the Lord to Kelly and told him I was going to "be still" and not talk about it anymore and not worry about it anymore. From then on I was going to let God handle it and let Him do whatever He had in mind. It was time to totally surrender and "let go and let God." Pretty tough for me!!       
         Over the next few years I tried my best to obey God's direction with a few little exceptions. Every once in a while I would mention a word or two to Kelly about adoption or point him in the direction of an adorable little Asian child I saw.  He would just roll his eyes at me and laugh. He still wasn't feelin' it. I began to forget about the whole thing, began to give up and didn't mention it much earthquake hit Haiti in January of 2010. Over the course of several days, we heard on the news of thousands of children who were being found parentless and were going to be in need of adopting. Ugh oh!! Here we go again. 
        I mentioned it to Kelly one night and told him of all of the orphans in Haiti. He said I should get online and look into it and that he would adopt one in a "heartbeat." Oh my Goodness!!! Had he lost his mind? I couldn't believe what he was saying. I was beside myself. I got online and checked the situation out immediately. To my dismay, the adoptions were closed......but guess what? They were still open to China. Just sayin'! 
        We began a life-changing event at our church called the "Daniel Fast", preparing for the Disciple Now weekend that our youth were going to be participating in. During this fast, we were to commit to eat the foods only Daniel ate and pray at the same time for our youth and everyone involved. During this time, Kelly and I decided to also pray about adoption. We wanted to totally bathe this idea in prayer and knew God would guide us as to what to do. Over the next month of the fast, we spent time every day studying God's word and praying. Many times God showed me scripture and revealed to me His will that we adopt. I just wasn't sure if He was revealing this to Kelly. One morning I was praying and begging God to please let me know if Kelly was feeling the same way. Within a few hours, he called me and said, " Hey Honey, I just wanted you to know that at my bible study this morning I asked all the guys to pray for our adopting a baby." I knew at that moment this was God's will for us. Kelly and I continued to pray about it together. Several days later, he called me and said he thought we should go ahead and send in our application. Yippee!!! On February 22, 2010, we sent it in.
          After so many years had passed, God was preparing and paving the way for us to adopt our little girl. God's plan is so much better than ours and my being still gave God time to create the exact little one He had for our family. Thank you Lord for your timing.