Thursday, December 23, 2010

Finger Printing is DONE!!!! WOOHOO!!! Got it done this morning. One HUGE step closer to bringing Elise home to her forever family!!


Monday, December 20, 2010

FingerPrint Appointment!!!

We got our appointment!!!! One step closer to bringing Elise home to her forever family!! YEAH!!!!!

Just wanted to post this adoption poem, that I found on someone else's adoption blog... dedicated to Elise's birth mother. I can't imagine the pain she must have felt to walk away from her beautiful little girl. I cry just thinking about it. But, because of the sacrifice she made, I have this amazing little girl waiting on me in China & I just can't wait to get my arms around her!

Beyond Your Tears
(written for Sophie Lu's
birth mother in China)

I imagine you kissed
her sweet face so round
And gently placed her
where she would be found

I imagine your heartache
your pain and your tears
I wish I could show you
and soften your fears

I’d show you a girl
with hope in her eyes
A girl who loves stories
and sweet lullabies

A girl who laughs freely
and loves to play
A girl who sings sweetly
and dances all day

A girl with a future
So funny and smart
A girl who loves music
and reading and art

A girl who I hope
has your courage one day
I know it took courage
to love and walk away

Her beautiful smile
I wish you could see
She looks like you
and laughs like me

So, imagine her laughter
Imagine her touch
I wish I could show you
she’s loved so much

Adoption is truely an amazing gift! I'm so blessed to be on the recieving end of this gift!

Friday, December 10, 2010

What a year....

So, there is this new thing on Facebook that puts together a collage of your status for the year. I revamped mine and did all my status posts from our time at Riley Childrens' Hospital last February and March. It made me cry to read all those posts again. The rush of emotions that I felt during those tense and stressfull weeks came rushing back to me. Here's a look back at what Emmie went through....

 Now, I look at my happy (and relatively healthy) bubbly little girl and think wow! We've come a long way baby!! Despite the many medications she's on, Emmie is doing very well. Her blood pressure is still too high, but she is off the medication that I desperately wanted to get her off of. (the one causing hair growth!!) Her BP is hovering around 120/70, this is high for her age. She should be at 98/60. We are close, but not close enough. She is not in danger with blood pressure numbers at this level, but long term (later in life) she could have issues if we are not able to get it a little lower. But look at her now....

So bubbly, full of personality, active like an almost 2 yr old should be! She is everything I ever wanted in a daughter! She makes me smile every day! She has been through so much, but it hasn't changed her personality. I think it's made her stronger.... I know its made me stronger!! I LOVE YOU MJ!!! I can't wait to see what you do with the life God has given you! You are already the best daughter & little sister.... I know you are gonna be a great big sister too!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Another day at Riley...

Tomorrow Emmie has her routine check-ups at Riley Children's Hospital. I say routine, because they have become routine for us, however they are anything but routine for a typical pediactric check-up.

We will start the day with an echocardiogram. After the cardiologist has had a chance to look over her echo, we will then set down with the cardiologist and go over the results. Hopefully, everything is the same as last time. The cardiologist is looking for "no change" in her echo. At her last cardiology appoinment they were happy with her progress and consider her heart and aorta to be "as good as it can get".

We will then go on to her kidney appointment. This is where we will check vitals, blood work, blood pressure, height, weight, urine... all the stuff that makes Emmie scream, but most of it doesn't even hurt! I'm praying for good results on all these things. Next, Dr. Kidney & I will discuss changing meds around. We are trying to get blood pressure down to a normal range, it's still too high for her. I also want to get her off of the minoxidile. This is the blood pressure med that is causing side effects that I can't handle. To be prefectly honest, minoxidile is the active ingredient in Rogain, yes that's right, it's what makes hair grow in balding men!! And it's making hair grow all over my sweet little angel!! If you've ever wondered, does Rogain really work??? YES IT DOES!!

So, pray for me & Emmie tomorrow. I'm praying for good news all around! Good cardiology repoorts, good kidney reports & Coming off minoxidile!! Emmie needs prayer to stay calm during the echo (she hates it) & all the other vital checks they will be doing on her.

Gonna be a long day, I'll be thinking about Thanksgiving while we are sitting there all day. I've got a lot to be Thankful for this year!! I'm very thankful for our God and savior!! He saved my daughter's life! He's given me an awesome husband, 2 wonderful boys, a daughter who is uniquely knitted together with a heart as pure as gold, a second daugther that makes my heart melt everytime I look at her beautiful face, and a family that has been so unbelievably helpful during the hardest year of my life!!, God also gave me an awesome church family that has rallied around me to help, support, clean, paint, and fix anything that needed it!! God is AMAZING!!!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Getting Sophia Bo.... a journey to China

The link above is to a blog that belongs to a new friend of mine, April. I met April around the beginning of October, when we both joined a facebook page designated to Poyang Orphanage. April's baby girl, Sophia, is at the Poyang Orphanage, which is also where Elise is. We recieved our referrals on the same day and we are using the same adoption agency. Sohia & Elise have been together since birth. They are only a few days apart in age. Thier entire lives have been spent in the same orphanage, probably doing the same things everyday. However, April & BJ are now on their way to get Sophia. I'm so excited to watch their journey, because I know I will celebrate a similar journey very soon! My heart longs for Elise to come home & watching friends get thier babies while I still wait for mine is hard. April was kind enough to hand deliver a care package for Elise, so I'm excited to know that Elise will be getting a gift from us very soon! The first step in getting this baby girl some sense of her new family!

I encourage you to follow April & BJ on this journey. They arrived in Bejing today. Monday is their "gotcha day". I hope you have a box of tissues though! I'm sure it will be enotional to watch this exciting journey!!

Congrats April & BJ..... can't wait to see your pictures & the wonderful journey of parenthood you are about to begin!!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Hoops, hoops and more hoops!!!!!

Sometimes the hoops keep coming and all you want to do is stop jumping!!! AHHH!! That was my Facebook status yesterday. I sent all these adoption paperwork packets to the appropriate places on Tuesday. I was sooo excited to have that portion of the process behind me & sooo looking forward to the next phase. Now, I've been told I will have to re-submitt the I800, once they approve my I800A. It's so frustrating!! Sometimes I feel like I'm trying to hit a moving target!! The paperwork and red tape we have gone through to get this baby is unreal. I know she is well worth it, but the wait is so hard. I thought waiting 4 years, 4 months and 11 days to get her pictures was the worst part of the wait. But, now I know who my daughter is, I know her face and I can't stop starring at her! This is going to be the longesat and hardest part of the wait!

Please keep praying for our family. Pray for Emmie's heart issues, blood pressure issues, and kidney issues. Pray for Elise as she waits in China for her forever family!! Pray for Tom as he works in Orlando and longs to be with his family! Pray for the boys as they have taken on a lot of responsibility while their Dad is working out of state. And pray for me as I try to hold everything together!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


WooHoo!!! The I800A, I800 & DS230 are in the mail. I'm relieved and excited to get this next phase of the adoption process underway. It is starting to feel like maybe this will actually happen! Still got lots of money to raise & still have a lot of waiting to do, but at least my part of the paperwork is done for now.

Hang on Elise!!!! Mommy's coming soon!!

Thursday, November 11, 2010


MARK YOUR CALENDERS!!!! The next adoption fundraiser is set for Saturday, November 20th from 5:00 to 8:00 PM at Terrace Lake Community Church. Help us bring Elise home from China to her forever family!!!

We are having a Chili Cook-Off between one of the local Boy Scout troops and the Young Marines. Each group of boys are making a HUGE pot of Chili. All you have to do is come eat it!! Give a donation (amount of your choice) to the Brooks Family Red Thread Adoption Fund, and enjoy some chili!! Then, it's $1 votes if you want to vote on the best chili. We will have all the "fixens" for your chili such as crackers & cheese. and some great homemade desserts!! If you're not a chili eater, then no worries, we'll have some hotdogs on hand too! The chili with the most votes will win the Cook-Off & a trophy!!

If you would like to donate any items for the cook-off, I'm in need of  paper bowls, spoons, shredded chedder cheese, oyster crackers, and lots of homemade desserts!! (or store bought desserts would be fine too!)

I want to put a BIG shout out to the Boy Scouts & Young Marines for taking on this fundraiser!!! Thank you for helping us bring our daughter home!!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Ordinary Hero?

You should checkout this blog! And check out their cool shirts! If you order a shirt in the month of November, they are donating all profits from the shirts to people who are trying to adopt. I can make $10 per shirt to go towards our adoption. All you have to do is in the "special instructions" box, put Tom & Tracy Brooks. It's very simple, and the shirts are pretty cool. Cost to you is $24.95 (including shipping).

They also have some amazing vidoes of "gotcha days" which is what adoptive families call the day that precious child was placed in their arms for the 1st time. They always make me cry!! Gives me cold chills to think about the day Elise will be put in my arms! I don't think I'll let her go for a long time! I often stare at her pictures and wonder what she's doing right now, if she feels love from any of her caregivers, do they play with her, do they sing to her, does she ever get rocked to sleep like every baby should???? So many questions......

Monday, November 8, 2010

Post #1 Nov. 8, 2010

    Well, Not sure how this is gonna go, but I'm willing to give it a try :) I've never been a blogger, or a follower of blogs. However, since there are lots of people whom I think will want to follow us to China and back, I decided it's time to go for it! Step out of my comfort zone (AKA FaceBook) and try something that everyone can view. Hopefully, you'll enjoy my posts as our family expands to 6!!! The thought of that is a little scary, but I think we will make it work and by this time next year, we will not be able to imagine our lives without Elise in it.
     In the days ahead, I'm going to post some pics of our family, and of our newest daughter, Elise Jia Qun Brooks, who is currently residing in the Jiangxi Province of China. She is the reason for the start of this blog and for the blog's name. There is an ancient Chinese proverb that says people who are destined to be together are connected by an invisible red thread. The thread may tangle or stretch, but it will never break. I believe that God made Elise to be a perfect fit for our family. He knitted her together in the womb all the while knowing where she would end up. She is connected to me & Tom by that invisible red thread, and the person who tied that red thread to her and me was God......