The Long's

The Long's
Wind River Ranch - where our journey to Chazz began!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Home just over 2 weeks! - and longer now!

Wow! Hard to believe that we've been home that long.  Things are going amazingly well.  God just continues to bless us and amaze us.  He is awesome!  The main thing I have learned through this adoption, is to give it all to Him!  God has helped us through so many things that could have been obstacles, but weren't!

Chazz is doing well.  He really seems to love being here and he loves us.  He says "I love you," gives the sign for it too, says school, baseball, and most importantly "go pee!"  We are having so much fun getting to know each other and helping him learn about his new world.  He loves the peddle cars in the drive and filling a wheelbarrow with dirt.  He has settled in well with our routine.   We've been to our pediatrician, a plastic surgeon (will go back in 6months), an audiologist (might have normal hearing in one ear), and had 7 vials of blood work!  We've been busy.

Then today, he started school!  I was scheduled to go back for the last 2 weeks, so we decided to give it a try.  He is in the same building as Reese, Hanna, Papaw, and me.  He did awesome.  No tears from him -a few from me, but who's counting!  He was excited to take his backpack and to put things inside his desk.  I'm so impressed with his teacher and she was still smiling at the end of the day!  At bedtime tonight, he said sleep then school!  I think he liked being like his brothers and sister.  He is such a sweet boy!  If you haven't gotten to meet him, I can't wait until you can.  He has a huge smile and giggles a lot.  I don't think he has a place on his body where he isn't ticklish!

Today was Reese's promotion from sixth grade!  We had such a nice program and I only she'd a couple of tears.  It has been a joy to teach him again this year.  I've always been close to this class, especially from getting to teach them in first and now.  Most of the boys at least are like sons.  And if I do say so myself, Reese looked very handsome!

Brooks runs this week in sectionals.  He is hopeful that his 4x8 relay team will make it to regionals and that he will for his 3200.  Prayers on Thursday!  He has had an amazing season.  He has really enjoyed being with this group of kids.

Sweet Hanna is also doing well.  She likes to help Chazz (when he'll listen) and has been great help for me.  She's looking forward to school getting out and cheering again this fall.
Chazz and Mamaw Albaugh

Reese and his teacher (mom) ready for his 6th grade promotion

Laying out in the sun after a cold swim

Celebrating after squirting baba (aka Dad)

Reese and Chazz at school on field day - it was hot!

Chazz laughing at baba who can't lift the wheelbarrow!
  He loves to fill it extra full so Jerry has a hard time lifting it!

He learned to ride a bike very quickly!  He giggled like crazy
when he realized Jerry wasn't holding on anymore.


Chazz and Great Grandma Beeson
 - We've actually been home even longer now - just over a month.  We are doing well.  We've visited 3 different doctors at Riley Hospital and hopefully will get hearing aids soon.  He is learning English and surprises us almost each day with a new word.  Last night at a baseball game, he pulled out is first tooth.  Surprising - he used hand motions to tell me about the tooth fairy!  He was so excited this morning to find his tooth gone and $2 in its place!

Monday, May 5, 2014

We are home!

We finally made it home Friday night and were greeted at the airport by our family and friends.  It was awesome! Tears filled my eyes while sitting on the tarmack waiting to get off the plane. I was so excited to see my boys and to introduce Chazz to them.

He was frightened at first and started to cry, but quickly warmed up.  He recognized Brooks, Reese, and my mom because we had skyped them so much.  He received gifts, balloons, candy, and lots of hugs.  He even rode up the escalators hand in hand with his new grandmas.

We actually got home around 11 and bed at 11:30.  That would mean we had been up since 7 the night before and gotten very little sleep.  Chazz and Hanna did very well on the plane. They slept some (Chazz the most) and watched movies.  We were lucky and had personal tv on the back of the headrest and could choose our own movies.  It was great, well as great as sitting on a plane for over 14 hours can be!

Home is good. Chazz is sleeping through the night and making himself at home.  He's found the nerd guns and shoots at everything.  He loves the outside play toys, and just today decided he likes Cooper.
Meeting Papaw

First picture of a family of 6!

Mamaw Long, Mamaw Albaugh, and Aunt Nicole

He likes jumping

And the ride on toys are a hit too

He might have done this a time or two

Racing with Hanna

PingPong in the drive way

With each pitch, Chazz yelled "alright" to Reese!

He found new toys!

A batting helmet for protection

Yep, he's a Long!

We have 4 kids!

Friday, April 18, 2014


Dinosaur in Chicago

Getting ready for the long flight
Writing in her travel diary in Chicago
My sweets


We slept very well last night.  I really don't remember falling asleep. I woke up at 2 and took a Tylenol pm and didn't get up until after 7. Hanna slept the whole night. Jerry and I would really like a nap now (it's 2 pm), but we are going to try not to.  Today has been an adventure! Caleb took us to a big electronics store looking for the card reader. Several stores later, we found out there was 1 at the Apple store across town.  Luckily we had them hold it for us.  We went to a sticker store for Hanna and the kids and then to a wonderful lunch.  Tonight we are all going out for dinner with Seaman. We are excited to see him.  Enjoy the pictures and hopefully more later.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

We are here!

We made it, we survived!  The plane ride was a little brutal. 14 hours and you can't really get comfortable enough to sleep. I think we all managed an hour or two all combined, but not much.  We've basically been up since a little before 3 am Wednesday.  We have also made it to Darcy and Caleb's house and were treated to a wonderful pasta dish and pico!  We had a great evening meeting their kids.   Hanna even went and played on the trampoline with Burke and Greer.  They will enjoy the weekend.

We got to skype home and talk with the nosy and mom. They are doing fine and my house is clean! Thanks mom!  Just 3 days til Chazz!

Bummer. My adapter to get pictures from my camera to iPad isn't working. Hopefully I can get it to work later or we might have to go shopping for something different...  So no pictures tonight.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

We're leaving!

Sitting here this morning at the airport, just waiting for our first flight.  We have just a short layover before we board for the long flight to Shanghai. We should get there around 2 am.  I think I might have slept a few hours last night, but was awake well before the 3:10 am alarm!  All sorts of emotions today: excited, nervous, sad, humbled, scared (have I forgotten something important?), and just in awe of what God has done in our lives.  I'm a little shell shocked that we are actually leaving and I'm actually, finally adopting MingJian.  Seems so surreal.  Missing my big boys already and it's only been a few hours....  Next stop, Chicago!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Have plane tickets and itinerary!

This is for real folks! We are all set.  We have our paperwork, plane tickets, money (there's a story of prayer I need to share), bags almost packed, and itinerary.  We are ready. Just one more day of teaching and trying to sleep and we will be ready to take off.  I've always liked that old song, "I'm leavin on a jet plane, don't know when I'll be back again!" If you see me smiling, I'm probably singing that in my head.

Here's our itinerary:
Wednesday: fly to Shanghai
Thursday: arrive in Shanghi, travel to Suzhou
Friday and Saturday: visit with Selby's and Seaman in Suzhou and Shanghai
Sunday: rejoice for our King is Risen and fly to Shenyang
Monday: meet Chazz Jian Long! Gotcha day
Tuesday: register adoption
Wednesday: Shenyang Forbidden City
Thursday: Beijing Park
Friday: fly to Guangzhou
Saturday: medical appointment
Sunday: Guangzhou folk art museum and Hai Xin Plaza
Monday: Shamian Island
Tuesday: visa appointment
Wednesday: get visa and travel to Hong Kong
Thursday: tour Hong Kong
Friday: fly Home!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Spring Break

Wow, what a week it has been. We are so thankful for God's awesome timing. I'm quite sure I never would have been able to get all that I've gotten done to travel if I would have been working.  My list has gotten longer, but I'm almost to the point where I can sit here and relax, for a few minutes anyway.  My dining room table is full of things that we need to pack. We are really hoping to get everything in 2 suitcases and then bring backpacks. We've checked the weather, and oh goodness, summer has arrived!  We are thinking we'll mainly pack shorts, which take up less space!

We don't have our final in country itinerary, but hopefully Monday or Tuesday!  We leave Wednesday, fly to Chicago, then on to Shanghai. We will get there on Thursday afternoon (long flight - 12 hour time difference, but still long).  We will be in Shanghai until Sunday, Easter, then we fly to Shenyang.  We are so excited to meet our son!  We know we have to be in Guangzhou on April 29 for our consulate appointment, so I'm guessing we'll get there on April 27.  On the 30th, we will go to HongKong and finally come home on May 2.  It will be so wonderful to be home with our 4 kids!  Wow, 4 kids!

We are both working Monday and Tuesday, so we wanted to have everything ready before then. Goodness, it is so hard to believe that in just over 1 week, I'm going to meet and hug the son I've prayed for since 2010!

Update: 1 suitcase packed!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014


We're going to China! We're going to China! We're going to China NEXT WEEK! More later, I'm going to be one crazy busy girl!  Thank you Lord for bringing us to this day! You are amazing. Thank you for the opportunity to give a child a family!  Chazz, MingJian, we are coming!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Travel Invitation!

Did you read that? Travel Invitation!  Ok, I admit it, I'm not the most patient person in the world. You'd think after 2 pregnancies and 2 adoptions I would have learned something about waiting for His perfect timing.  So on Friday, I decided that I would email our agency just to ask if they had any new info, just a hint at when they were thinking.  I checked and rechecked our email all evening long and nothing.

This morning, I went to the women's Lenten breakfast with two dear friends, Lana and Susan.  We had a wonderful time fellowshipping, worshipping, and praising our Lord and Savior.  We heard a powerful testimony about how God can change our lives.

When I got home, I checked email again and this time there was one!  We have our travel invitation!  We aren't even at the 2week wait yet!  We will know very soon, like Monday or Tuesday, when we are going to leave!  We are so excited!

Prayer Requests:
  Prayers for our travels
  Prayers for Brooks and Reese staying home
  Prayers for my mom and Jerry's parents taking care of the boys while we are gone.
  Prayers for our hearts to be ready for a new son and brother
  Prayers for Chazz that he'll be ready and excited for a family
  Prayers that Love breaks language barriers
  Thank you Lord for all you've given us and all You do!  You are a powerful and mighty God.

Stay Tuned.. Travel dates are next!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Brittany's Hope Grant!

We just received word from our agency that we have received a matching grant for funds raised up to $4000 from Brittany's Hope!  We are so excited.  We have raised $1776.  Thank you everyone who has helped us so far!

We have no new news on Chazz.  We are still waiting on travel dates.  Hopefully in the next week we will have more information.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Article 5

Awesome!  We just received an email from the consulate in Guangzhou, China!  They have finished processing our article 5! This is a huge and final hurdle!  We are now officially waiting for China to issue our travel invitation!  After 4 very long years, we are approved and just a few months (perhaps less) from meeting our son!

Back in January, 2010, we saw MingJian was still in the orphanage.  We couldn't believe it.  We immediately sought information about him.  First we learned that his file was available, only to find out a short while later that his file was gone.  We prayed and were so excited that he might have a family and would be joining them soon.  Well, in June of that year, we found out that he was still there and his file was available again.  This time we began our homestudy.  We finished 3 of the 4 required meetings only to realize the time wasn't right.  Tearfully, we released his file.  It was heartbreaking!  I actually ended up in the ER with chest pains, but was just anxiety.

Now fast forward to 2012. We went on a fabulous vacation to Estes Park, Co.  We stayed at a Christian guest ranch.  It was amazing.  The picture above is from there.  We had bible study each morning and time to reflect.  We were reading Crazy Love by Francis Chann.  We decided to listen to our hearts and adopt again.  In November we contacted our agency to tell them we had decided upon China and wanted to adopt MingJian.  We started our homestudy and paper chase in January 2013.

Along the way and even when adopting Hanna, we've been inspired and encouraged by many people, but most importantly by Jesus Christ.  This just feels right.  We are so humbled and excited that He has chosen us to be parents to 3 great kids already and now one more!

Everyone shout to the wind so MingJian might hear, we are coming!

Travel dates next!

Friday, March 21, 2014

What a week!

Wow, what a crazy week we have had.  We feel crazy blessed by getting to be the family of the week for Give 1 Save 1!  What a joy to be able to share God's love and the idea of adoption.  We love to talk about adoption if you haven't noticed!  I feel so blessed to have married a man who loves kids as much as I do!

Thank you all so much for stopping by our little blog this week and donating. Since early last fall, we have received $1473, counting what is on the pure charity site.  That is amazing! We appreciate it more than you know.  Our donate button will be up for a little longer, so if you are so inclined, feel free to share with others in case they want to help bring home Chazz!  I so can't wait to get him home.  I get more excited by the minute ;)

News, well we have just a little.  We know now that our DS-260 paperwork was dropped off at the consulate in Guangzhou, China on March 10 and is due to be approved on March 24.  Then the CCCWA can issue our travel invitation, 2-3 weeks later. I think we could travel as early as April 21!  We also know that there is a trade fair going in Guangzhou in April which triples the hotel prices, so we will not travel during that.

Keep checking back for more updates and travel dates!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Monday Morning

We are the Long's and we are anxiously waiting for our travel invitation to adopt our son, Chazz, from Shenyang China.  Chazz lives in the orphanage from which our daughter, Hanna, was adopted.  They were friends and shared the same nanny.  Hanna was adopted in 2008 and we've prayed for Chazz since then.  We are so excited to be able to bring him home.

This week, we are the featured family for Give 1Save 1 website.  Would you consider donating to help bring him home and share our blog with your friends?  

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Give 1 Save 1

      This week, God has blessed us by allowing us to be the featured family of the week for Give 1 Save 1.  This website's goal is to help adopting families raise the necessary money to complete their adoptions.  The site asks people to donate at least a dollar, and to share the site with others.
      We will use our blog as our travel journal, so you will be able to watch our adoption story unfold.  Tomorrow morning, we will post the video that Brooks and Reese made about our family.
      Please check back in during this week to check our progress.  Our God is mighty and powerful and we see that through adoption.  Thank you all so much!

Love, the Long's

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Feeling Blessed

My mom's sorority, Beta Sigma Phi, seriously blessed us last night.  Before how they blessed us, you need some background.  My mom has been a member of this sorority for like forever.  They always meet on a Tuesday night (I think it is the first Tuesday). Anyway, growing up, sorority night always meant meatloaf night!  My dad would joke around that it must be sorority night.  He wanted to give mom a hard time about leaving, but he secretively enjoyed knowing she was having a good time.  He always had that twinkle in his eyes when he was kidding with her.  So this group of women have been important to mom and as close as true sisters forever.  They've been there for the good times and the not so good.
Ok, so last night was sorority night.  They decided to make their love offering for our family and our adoption!  They blessed us with over $300! I don't know how to adequately thank them all.  Thank you doesn't seem good enough.  Besides the money, and more importantly, they are praying for us, our journey, and our son!  How incredible is that!  So if you know anyone in my mom's sorority, please give them a hug for me and tell them thank you!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Have Visas, can travel

Well, we could travel, but unfortunately we haven't been invited yet!  Though, we could leave very quickly once given the word.  It is a relief to have our passports back in our hands instead of traveling around with Fed Ex.

Next week is the big week!  We are so excited to share the video the boys made and so excited to see what God has in store.  Please pray about donating, even just $1 and sharing our blog with everyone you know.  All donations are tax deductible.

We have no new information about travel.  Our paperwork should be in Guangzhou, China with the American Consulate.  Hopefully we will hear good news sometime next week.  Then just travel invitation.  Patiently waiting! ;)

Thank you all so much for prayers for our family and for Chazz.  They are greatly appreciated.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014


I didn't receive the letter today either, so I sent the NVC an email at 4:51.  They promptly replied at 5:04 that we would receive our letter shortly, but included the information I needed to do the online submission for our DS-260.  SO, I have finally officially submitted our DS-260 for MingJian.  This is his immigration paperwork so we will automatically become a US citizen when we land on US soil.  This is the paperwork that gets sent to the consulate in Guangzhou, China.  I am however, still waiting on the letter.  I will upload a confirmation page to our agency tomorrow morning and hopefully the letter will magically arrive in my inbox by then so I can upload it as well.  Then we will finally be in the wait for Article 5 and Travel Invitation.

God is at work, I know he is.  Listen to this story.  My friend, neighbor, and co-worker has children living in Shanghai.  They have offered to have a driver meet us at the airport and invited us to stay with them in Shanghai during our visit.  We found out where they live and told them about our Australian friend who is in Shanghai right now teaching at a local university.  Would you believe that she is teaching at the university that is just mere minutes from their house?  How incredible is that?  Coincidences like that don't just happen!  Then, we received an email from our agency stating that they are already putting together the travel group for April for families with Article 5 and Travel Invitation already.  There is a chance that we could still make it into that group or we would wait until the May group.  Are you kidding?  We need prayer.  I know that this is in God's hands and His timing is perfect, but May!  Seriously.  That was depressing.  Our friend is leaving China to go back to Australia on April 13.  We need to be in Shanghai at least by the 12 so we can meet her!  Pray for that, please?  The next few weeks will no doubt last forever while we wait for this anticipated news.

Thanks for listening to me whine!  Please feel free to share our blog with your friends and loved ones and don't forget to check back with us the week of March 17 for the Give 1 Save 1 donation week and to see Brooks and Reese's video!

Monday, March 3, 2014

And still waiting!

Once we received our provisional approval, I got to send most of our Article 5 documents to our agency while we waited on the last pieces.  Well, We're still waiting.  We are needing a letter from the national visa center so I can do an online submission.  The letter is supposed to take 10-14 days.  Tomorrow will be day 14!  If I don't get it tomorrow, I can email them to request an electronic copy of the letter.  I was so hoping to just get the letter, but no.  Jerry is so much better at waiting than I am.  Waiting is hard.  I feel like we've already waited long enough. I'm ready!  I know I need to be patient and I need to quiet myself so I can hear God speaking.  I know that I need to rely on Him for He knows what the future holds, and His timing is perfect.  I know all of this, but it sure is hard to live with.  In our bible study, we are working through James.

         Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4.  

I need to recite this over and over.  Consider it pure joy!  Progress will be made. We will receive our travel dates. We will meet and bring home our son- in His time and not mine.  

We'll have another update soon!

Don't forget to share our blog with everyone you know!  Our week to be the family for Give 1 Save 1!  Help spread our story and be a part of bringing home Chazz!  God Bless

Thursday, February 20, 2014


We found out today that our I-800 was provisionally approved by USCIS on Tuesday!  We should receive a letter in a day or two.  Then I may out another round of paperwork for our agency to get started filing for our Article 5. We are mailing this packet incomplete, because I read that it could save us a few days when it comes to travel.  While we still don't know our travel dates, I'm hopeful for early April!  Jerry mailed out our care package for Chazz on Tuesday.  Not sure how long it will take to get there, but I'm sure he will be excited to receive mail!  Continued prayers please!  We serve an awesome and mighty God!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Give One Save One

See that button over on the right?  The Give One Save One button? It is a site that promotes adoption.  They publicize a different family each week in hopes of helping them raise money to fund their adoption.  Guess who is going to get to be the family the week of March 17?!  We just found out today.  We made a video, but you'll have to visit our site again that week to see it.  Brooks and Reese were our producers during one of our many snow days.  In case you are wondering, they used iMovie on an iPad.  It was great fun.  We are so excited.  There is also a grant that we may get that would match any funds we receive from this site.  We hope to find out soon and then we'll let you know.  Please help spread the word. 

Isn't he just the cutest?

News...well, we have submitted our paperwork for immigration - I-800.  We've gotten notice that they have received it.  I can call them this coming week to check on the progress.  I've read that families typically get this within 2-3 weeks.  Our 2 weeks will be Tuesday.  Then we wait for a letter to send more paperwork.  Wait for Article 5 and finally travel invitation.  Sounds excruciatingly long, but hopefully we'll be in China in April.

A few years ago, we heard Third Day say that they think everyone should be involved with adoption in some form - advocacy, financially, or adopting.  We happen to agree.  Watch this video and see why...Global Orphan Crisis

Friday, January 31, 2014

Introducing our son!

Today is the day!  We at last received our LOA - Letter Of Approval - from China.  This grants us permission to publically share his picture and send him a care package!  We've been working on the care package for a few months now, and it still isn't finished...  We're going to get that done this week.  I can't wait.  We've created a brag book of pictures of the family.  We realized though that we used primarily pictures from Florida, so now we have to include some of snow!  We don't want him to get the wrong idea. :)
OK, so here is Chazz Jian Long.  He is 8 years old (4 months older than Hanna) and currently lives in the same orphanage that Hanna used to live in.  They were friends, as they were part of the same group.  We have many pictures of both of them together; however, the pictures and their friendship are more than 5 years old.  Hanna will get to travel with us - mainly because we are traveling to her home town.  We are hoping to get to see her sponsor family.
We are so thankful to God!  Without Him, this would not have happened.  He just kept whispering and we finally listened.  Blessed for sure.
We definitely welcome your prayers.  Prayers for paperwork to go thoroughly quickly and easily, prayers for speedy and safe travel, prayers for open and loving hearts, prayers for his transition to a family, prayers for our transition to him, prayers for Hanna when traveling, and prayers for the boys staying home.
Stayed tuned for more updates.  We most likely won't get to travel until April, but I'm hoping for earlier.  I feel like I've waited long enough - and these next three months are going to be killers!

Tonight we had Chinese for dinner- orange chicken!  You'll never believe what my fortune cookie said...  The object of your desire comes closer!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

11 weeks and counting

Oh goodness.  We were told that our LOA (approval from China) could take 6-12 weeks. Well isn't it just fabulous that ours is taking the longest possible?  I was hoping to be in China in February, but that is not going to happen.  It is more likely April!  On the bright side though, the weather in northern China will be much nicer in the spring than in winter.  Hopefully this week, Thursday will be 12 weeks, we will get some news.  After LOA, we will apply for our I-800, travel visas, and send Chazz a care package!  We've been gathering things to send to him and even made him a brag book of pictures.
     We've kept ourselves busy these last 11 weeks with school, sports, Christmas, church, and Florida.  We so can't wait to get these next steps over with and just have our son home.  So many things we can't wait to share with him
     Tonight our friend Hillary prayed for God to prepare his heart for our family, a seamless transition for everyone, and love. It was just what we need.  Please keep Chazz in prayer while we wait and pray that he is ready for a family of his own.