Thursday, September 02, 2010


Our Family Tree
We've added to our family tree, 
a stronger one to make
A child from another plant, 
has become our new namesake
Just as a limb is grafted from one tree to another
It alters and improves the plant, 
making it uniquely, like no other
Our family tree has been improved, 
adoption made this so
For love, much more than bloodlines, 
makes us thrive and grow

Natural Child: Any child who is not artificial.
Real Parent: Any parent who is not imaginary.
Your Own Child: Any child who is not someone else's child.
Adopted Child: A natural child, with a real parent, who is all my own.

The Gift of Life
I didn't give you the gift of life,
But in my heart I know.
The love I feel is deep and real,
As if it had been so.
For us to have each other
Is like a dream come true!
No, I didn't give you 
The gift of life,
Life gave me the gift of you.
--- Unknown

Do not follow where the path may lead.
Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
--- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Our children are not ours because they share our genes...
they are ours because we have had the audacity to envision them. 
That, at the end of the day...or long sleepless night, 
is how love really works.

Not flesh of my flesh, 
Nor bone of my bone, 
But still miraculously my own. 
Never forget for a single minute, 
You didn't grow under my heart- 
you grew in it. 
--- Fleur Conkling Heylinger


I didn't come out of my mother.

I don't have my father's blue eyes.

No one in my family looks like me

People are always surprised.

I think we're a happier family

Than if we were all kings and queens

We're so lucky we all found each other.

That's what being adopted means.
by Pamela Espeland and Marilyn Nelson

To the outside world we all grow old. 
But not to brothers and sisters.  
We know each other as we always were. 
We know each other's hearts. We share private family jokes. 
We remember family feuds and secrets, family griefs and joys. 
We live outside the touch of time.

We don't stop playing because we grow older,
we grow older because we stop playing.

Thou hast made me known to friends whom I knew not. 
Thou hast given me seats in homes not my own.
Thou hast brought the distant near and made a brother of the stranger.

The man whispered, "God, speak to me" and a Chickadee sang.
  But, the man did not hear.
So the man yelled "God, speak to me!" And, the thunder rolled across the sky.
  But, the man did not listen.
The man looked around and said, "God let me see you." And a star shined brightly.
  But the man did not notice.
And, the man shouted, "God show me a miracle!" And, a life was born.
  But, the man did not know.
So, the man cried out in despair, "Touch me God, and let me know you are here!"
Whereupon, God reached down and touched the man.
  But, the man brushed the butterfly away and walked on.
Don't miss out on a blessing because it isn't packaged the way that you expect.

If you do not change direction, 
you may end up where you are heading.

An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet,
regardless of time, place, or circumstance.The thread may stretch or tangle, but it will never break.
--- An Ancient Chinese belief

The world is round, and
the place which may seem like the end,
may also be the beginning.
--- Ivy Baker Priest


  1. Your journey and this beautiful child have moved me to tears. God bless you all for adding this adorable angel to your family. Congratulations to you all.

  2. Dear Marla, Jake and family -

    How exciting that you have finally made the journey and brought your new daughter/sister home. I still remember hearing this part of your story - what now seems like ages ago - when we talked about bringing Jake to Roeper. I wish you years of wonderful and wondrous moments.


    Elli (in Admissions at Roeper)

  3. Hi Marla: My name is Anne Gahagan, mom to two upper school Roeper kids, Claire (sophomore) and Griffin (senior) Dennis. I just had to write and tell you glad I was that you shared your link with us all.
    It was a wonderful way to get to know your family--the amazing pictures reveal such a close and loving family! I confess I had tears in my eyes as I scrolled through the pictures! Clearly Tian Tian is lucky to have you, and I'm sure you feel the same way about her.

    So glad you are part of Roeper, and if there is anything you need to help navigate (Claire has been at Roeper since pre-school, Griffin the same, except for grades 3-8 at Covington school in B'ham) don't hesitate to drop me a line/give a call. Hope to meet you soon...



Thank you so much for stopping by! We love to hear from you and appreciate every comment! Your thoughts, well wishes, and words of wisdom will be preserved here in our blog, we plan to turn it into a hard cover book for our daughter.


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Our Adoption Timeline:

Begin Home Study:
August 10, 2009
Liu Chun Tian
Referral Photos:
August 19, 2009
Letter Of Intent:
August 24, 2009
September 2, 2009
(in 9 days)
Home Study Completed:
October 5, 2009
I-800A Sent:
October 6. 2009
Immigration Approval:
November 19, 2009
(in 45 days)
Dossier To China:
December 18, 2009
Log In Date:
December 31, 2009
(in 13 days)
~Happy New Year~
Letter Of Approval:
(in 74 days)
I-800 Sent:
I-800 Approval:
Cabled 4-7-2010
Article 5
Picked Up 5-4-2010
Travel Approval:
Leaving On A Jet Plane:
June 12, 2010
Forever Family Day:
American Citizenship:
July 4th, 2010