I’ve been feeling reflective and looked back and found several pictures that are like “little milestones” in our adoption journey that I thought I’d share with you. 

These two pictures are from one of the play dates we hosted with our friends the Wickershams when they were visiting in Frankfort, IN probably 4ish years ago…? (They live in China, but both parents are Hoosier natives)



The beautiful children in the photos are my Clara & Fritz and their friends – Rose & Grace. Their beautiful momma, Megan, generously spoke her heart for adoption and answering the call God has for us to care for the “orphan.” She sweetly answered my shy and curious questions. And Clara…Clara fell in love with her girls. After their visit… Clara(who was at most 3 yrs old at the time), “Gwace is my sista!” And she would beg for them to come again. And incessantly “when can we go to China to see Gwace & Wose?!” And then at Thanksgiving she picked out a chair for Miss Megan to sit in at mommy’s table. 

This is their family a little more recently. 



This picture is of Clara in an outfit that the Wickersham girls had outgrown. She loved to put it on. 



This was a sweet treasure I had kept from one of Miss Megan’s talks in Frankfort at FPC I think when I was in college… I set it on my dresser every Christmas season. 





Then we decided to adopt our own lil daughter that would be born in China. 



And along the way I met a sweet friend, Helen, who happens to have Chinese heritage. And sweetly shares her heart and friendship with me…has taught me some Chinese cooking…what it is to grow up with a Chinese heritage in NE Tennessee. She has taught me much and I’m blessed to share this season of life with her. 



This is a book I read to learn some of China’s history and culture. I won’t do a lengthy critique here, but it opened my eyes to things I didn’t know and I am glad to have read it. 



And this is a picture of the quilt that I made for Katie Ann in January of 2013. I had made 2 matching quilts for the boys while living in Indiana and then after we moved to Tennessee, I made 2 matching quilts for my girls. Clara sleeps under hers and has since it was finished. Katie Ann’s quilt has patiently been waiting for her as it lays softly over the bottom bunk in what’s currently Clara’s room…that she will soon share with her sister. 



And then of course the picture of our sweet girl. Dearheart, how you are loved. SO. MUCH. We can’t wait to come get you. We pray every night together for your safety and health and for you to know and feel that you are loved. 



Through the eyes of a first-timer…

I went to my first C4C (Created for Care) conference for foster & adoptive moms just over a week ago (2/6-2/8). It was held at a lovely lil conference center in Buford, GA called the Legacy Lodge & Conference Center. Click here to see the webpage for Legacy Lodge.
And here for the Created for Care webpage.

It was AWESOME people!! As a first-timer, I was incredibly blown away, overcome, overwhelmed. I can’t say it was “relaxing or restful,” but that’s because I didn’t want to miss anything. It could have been restful if I had made choices to do things like take a nap or do a craft break out session…but I wanted to learn! And I did.

I learned about how God cares for us as His children. How He adopts us as His own. How He calls us to care for the orphan & widow. How He cares for us as we carry out His call…responding in obedience to His call. How He exchanges our cares for a crown. How we are His treasures.

And how my love alone will never “fix” a person, a child… How God is sovereign. How He knits us together in relationships with each other & with Himself. How only He can fix the broken. How refinement only comes through fire. How blessing can be seen & felt in the hard. How we can choose joy in any circumstance but it is our choice. How we have to withdraw with Him daily to be renewed.

And then things like-
Behavior is the language of children who have lost their voice.
Lying is a fear based behavior.
Early life trauma is real & needs to be dealt with.
How important it is to have a circle of support for adoption.
Attachment.
Managing expectations.

And I’m …. Still …. processing it all.

I’m so grateful for the adoptive mentor moms in my life, for friends that listen and care, for supportive family, for a local church to come to for authentic worship & growth for my family.

Disclaimer-I realize this post has terrible grammar & may not even make a lot of sense. I apologize for this. Please know that just by doing this bit of typing here-you are allowing me to further process all that I saw & heard. And I believe that if the Lord speaks to you, He speaks through you…so I’m sending this forth for whoever’s ears it is intended for.

Happy birthday today to our Clara!

She is growing into a kind and compassionate girl. Clara loves school, friends, gymnastics, playing with her brothers and she can’t wait to have her baby sister home. “Mommy, let’s talk about Katie Ann…how big will she be? When will we go get her? What if she can’t understand us because we speak English?” She is a good helper, a sweet daughter, a fun sister and friend.

We love you so much sweet girl! Happy birthday!

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So much is happening so fast and it’s hard to stop and put it down in words here. I desire to continue writing the memories here so that we can come back…and remember. So I will keep trying.

In the last couple weeks we have received our child match, officially written our letter (LOI) that requests we be her forever family and officially received our official letter that says China accepts us to adopt her (LOA). {That’s a lot of “official”-ness going on…}

And in the meantime we have submitted (thru our agency-CCAI) our I800 form to the U.S. Government to request that Katie Ann be ours and thus a U.S. citizen.

And I’ve been working on gathering things to send to our sweet daughter in China. With the help (read BIG HELP) & permission to copy the idea from my generous friend Megan Wickersham, we put together a special picture book for Katie Ann in her care package that will begin its journey towards her tomorrow.

We hope & pray that her caregivers will show it to her, read it to her, (let her chew on it if she wants…) 😉 And that her little heart and mind might begin to know who we are and that she is so loved.

Here are the pictures of her little book:

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Here is a photo of the rest of the goodies we are sending.

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After I got the lil book finished today, I showed it to the kids…made my heart smile y’all. They beamed and grinned. And each took turns reading it several times.

Love makes a family. And we can’t wait to get her in ours to love on. 💗

We have waited and prayed and now it’s official! And we can’t wait to share with you that the Lord has blessed our family with a beautiful little girl!!

Kathryn Ann will be her name. Kathryn after my maternal grandmother and Ann after my mom & myself (both with the middle name Ann). And we will give her a Chinese second middle name but are not yet decided on that. We will call her Katie Ann.

She is about 16 months old and currently in China. It is common for children who have spent time in an orphanage to have some developmental delay. Our Katie Ann has significant delay that will likely require therapy services upon her arrival in our home.

We are anxiously completing necessary paperwork and putting in as many extra work hours as possible to be financially ready when the time comes to make the trip to complete her adoption and to bring her home. We anticipate that trip will occur sometime in the late spring or early summer and last 14-16 days.

We are in love!

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You should update your blog…

It’s been a long time since I’ve written any updates here on the Hagemeier crew. When I look at the date of my last entry and the span of time until now that defines the pause in the blog, it directly correlates with the part-time (read 30 hours/week plus) job that consumed me. Literally gobbled me up. Not without purpose-it provided needed financials for our adoption. But all I can say is…Women of the world working full time, with small children & “doing it all” – I salute you!

I thought I’d share what’s new with us:

1-it’s time for my every-two-years brain MRI. This summer actually marks the 3 year point from my initial 14 hour nap & subsequent re-learning to walk & swallow & resulting left-sided hearing loss. All pointing me to thankfulness & deeper love for Jesus & his gifts to me.

2-we are getting a puppy! It’s true. I lost my mind (remember that brain surgery…) and our sweet Lucy will be joining us January 31 as we bring her home from Virginia.

3-Adoption: our immigration approval expires in April. This means I am currently in process of re-doing several home study documents in order to have this all updated.

4-you can deduce from #3 that we still do not have a match for our adoption. Our agency says we could be matched any day-though this statement has been true for a few months.

So we wait. We hang out. We live and we play. And try not to get frustrated. Try not to allow bitterness to set in as we wait. Choose joy. And do what we can today-pray, love & work.

Til next time!! Thought you’d like to see the most recent picture of Lucy we have. She looks pretty sweet I think. :)

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Our dear dad had his 65th birthday today! We celebrated on Sunday and it was a grand time for us and for him too I think. My sister, Betsy, organized a large-group present… She asked several family & friends to write a note to him with a memory story they shared in the past with Dad. This was the end result…

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It was tons of fun to listen to him read them-all 65… Lots of memories.

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To sum life’s education with Charley as your father… Here are some frequently heard quotes from Dad growing up. (Please don’t be offended by a lack of context or some farmer humor)

“I’ve got a bulletin for ya.” (Similar to ‘I’ve got news for you…’)

“If you eat too much pizza, you’ll get pizza butt.” (Don’t eat too much)

“If you eat like a bird, you’ll look like a bird.” (Don’t eat too little)

“I know.” {everything implied here}

“That’s crap.”

“I’m on a need to know basis.”

“You gotta know where your bread is buttered.” (Know what you are good at)

“Poor people have poor ways.” (Repeated from Great Grandma Clara) [And really there’s lots of wisdom in that]

“It’s just more stuff to dust.” (Meaning home decor or trinkets)

“I’m just resting my eyes.” (Aka napping)

“Come with me, I need your help.” (Every son-in-law should be afraid…)

“Learning by doing” (Evidently this was the 4-H motto during Dad’s childhood)

We love you Dad! Happy birthday! Thanks for all you’ve taught us, but especially for taking us to church to meet Jesus, showing us what a loving marriage & father looks like and teaching us what hard work is & that it’s worth it.

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Today is my momma’s last day of work at dear old Clinton Prairie High School. 36 years working in the same building, with many of the same dedicated staff & with many of the same families, generations really. That’s a long time folks. Most of my friends and probably most people in general have several different jobs, different employers over their working years. So I think it’s pretty outstanding when you come across someone like my mom.

Someone with dedication, compassion, drive, stick-to-it’d-ness, someone who really cares about kids. Cares about their families. Cares about their success. And who isn’t afraid to tell you what she thinks or if you need a swift kick in the rear to get back on the right path. Because sometimes in life, we do need that – for someone to lovingly get our attention and guide us back.

Let me tell you a bit…ok brag a bit… (She’ll be horrified…) about what I remember about mom’s “work.” She worked long & extra unpaid hours on a nearly weekly basis. Being that CPHS is a small school, many times if you want something to happen, something to be better for a place…you have to do it yourself. And she did. She planned, organized special field trips for student groups she was advisor for. She did “extra” jobs like creating/organizing the school’s Prairie Planner which is no small feat to compile with all the various sports & clubs. Who knows how many cookies and brownies the woman has made for faculty & staff meetings/gifts/just because.

I remember lots of times being at home of an evening as a kid & the phone would ring…”Is Mrs. Robinson there?” (Robison, Robinson, Robeson…whatever!!) And it would be a parent with a concern about their child. And even though we were cooking supper or eating it or getting ready to run out the door for some activity, she would pause & patiently listen to them. Engage in thoughtful & caring conversation with them. Or if there was a phone call with a tragic event for one of her students-maybe a fire or an accident or a death…she dropped what she was doing and went. She went to be there & support & help however she could.

Her title was “Guidance Counselor,” but what she was in fact to many kids was “mom at school,” “college & career advisor,” “life coach,” “a listening ear,” “someone who cares.”

So as an alum of Clinton Prairie High School, thank you mom. Thank you for your many years of service to the families and to the students and to the staff at Clinton Prairie.

Love you! Happy retirement day!

Happy birthday to my son, Will. He made me a momma and has taught me more about life in the past 9 years than I knew a little (big) person could possibly do. The Lord has used you in my refining and I in yours and no doubt that will be a continual process for both of us. I love you more than you can know. I pray daily for you the prayer that I prayed over you in my womb-that you would grow to evermore know, love & serve our Lord Jesus Christ.
There are so many but here are a few of my favorite photos of you in the recent past. You have grown up so much in the past year & soon will be as tall or taller than me.

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Testing. Testing. Is this thing on?

Summer is wrapping up to a close. It’s been lovely, busy, fun, tiring & sunny. And we have obviously taken a break from blogging…

Hoping to do some posts soon as the kids go back to school.

Here are some summertime pictures. Soak up the last bits of your summer!

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