Thursday, December 25, 2008

Concrete Travel Dates

Got word from our agency that we leave for China on January 8, 2009 and return to the states on January 23, 2009. Its official. Now we wait for our official itinerary. I will keep you posted.

Merry Christmas

We had a wonderful Christmas here at home today. Frank and I were truly blessed by how the kids were very thankful for the gifts that they did receive. It was a great time to be at home and enjoy each other's company. My dad and his wife came and spent several hours with us. They also brought pies and lasagna.

Frank and I cooked a big dinner that turned out great. The best news is that this will be the last Christmas that Amelia will have to spend in an orphanage. Next year, she will spend Christmas with her forever family.

Thank You God for blessing us with your son Jesus Christ. Happy Birthday Jesus!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Let the count down begin (16 days)

It's Christmas Eve 2008. Wow, where did the time go really? This year has flown by and in just 16 days, Frank and I will leave for China to pick up the newest addition to our family. I sit here with 3 of the 4 children here by the fire and all is calm. Not a creature is stiring at 7:30 am except the cat who is sitting right beside me.

Frank is out window shopping and then it's off to meet with a friend for coffee and bible study.

In just a few hours, we will go to Frank's sisters and visit for a few hours and who knows what else will take place. Tomorrow we will spend the day at home with the kids which is a first. We usually are going somewhere.

Thinking of so many of you this morning and wishing you all a very Merry CHRISTmas with love from the Brizzi's.


Friday, December 19, 2008


After 5 weeks of waiting, our TA (travel approval) is here. China knows we are coming. Our family coordinator called just a few minutes ago and said that they have tentative dates for us to travel to China.

It looks like we will be leaving on January 8 and returning either the 22nd or 24th. I hope its the 22nd. We had an extended stay last time and I will definitely be ready to come home by then. We hope to have confirmed dates from China by Christmas.

So, thank you Lord for answering our prayers that we receive TA by Christmas.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Still Waiting

We were hoping to receive a call last Monday 12/8 that would possibly put our travel to China on Christmas Day. But as of today, still no call regarding our TA.

Each day that goes by puts leaving for China in January. Please Lord send that TA this week so that we can finally know when we will be bringing Mia home.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Still no call regarding our TA today. We also found out that as of January 1, the orphanage fee will go from $3,000 to $5,000 plus. Not good news but, God will make a way.

Hoping for a call this week and departure in the next two weeks. Keep us in your prayers.


Monday, December 8, 2008


Well, its been a few weeks since I last posted so here's an update. Last week I sent our visa applicatoin to our agency. Now it's time to apply for our visas for the trip to China.

Today, I am hoping to receive a call that we got our TA (travel approval). This will give us tentative dates of travel. We really are praying for travel on Christmas Day. This would be a blessing in so many ways. Keep us in your prayers.

There is so much to do and plan for before we leave but, God will see me through. I can't wait to bring our daughter home. We face many changes in the new year but I TRUST God.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Preparing for Travel

On Wednesday, we sent over the preliminary paperwork to our agency so that our travel can be arranged. We are waiting for the TA (travel approval) from China. This includes our CA (consulate appointment) while in China and our in-country travel.

Hopefully we will have the TA within the next two weeks.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Miss Hope-Elizabeth

She is growing like a weed and it hard to believe that she has been with us 3 years this past July. The has so blessed our family and keeps us laughing each and every day.

She enjys pre-school which she attends EVERYDAY from 1:15 - 3:40. This is good for both she and I LOL :).

Look for recent pictures as soon as I can upload them.

Update on the Boys

Well, boys will be boys. Dominic and Hunter are doing very well and I thank God that they are healthy and are pretty good kids...most days LOL. They are both homeschooled grades 10/11 and 7th.

Hunter will celebrate his 13th birthday THIS Sunday. Oh my two teenagesrs in the house. Lord help me. They are involved with their youth group as well as group classes of which Dominic takes a Life Skills class and Spanish II.

Hunter is taking Astronomy and Maryland History. They seem to fit in pretty well and have lots of friends. They are both taking Ju Jitsu weekly with the homeschool group.

Dominic will attend his first prom in May. Look for updates and lots of photos. YIKES, my boy is growing up. He also turns 17 then. :(

It's Opening Night

Tonight Gabrielle performs for her Christmas play at school. This is exciting because she has both a speaking part and a solo. She also received Straight A's on her report card last week. Way to go girl!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

On their way

Today we sent the final documents back to our agency so that they can send them to China. After this time, we will wait for our travel approval. Hopefully we will have concrete travel dates by the end of the month. Can't wait.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Pray for the Cuzzou Family

They are in China and did not receive their daugter Lydia Hope because her sn was more severe than they had thought.

We are praying for a miracle that the CCAA would please provide them with another child and their hearts would be happy. Please God we need you to do this for this wonderful loving family. There is a little girl out there for them and they need to bring her home. In Jesus Name I pray, Amen.

It's Official, we received our Referral Aproval (RA)

Yesterday we received the phone call we have been waiting for since 9/5/08 telling us that we are officially aproved to adopt Xu Huan Qing.

I can hardly believe it. The wait was shorter that anticipated and it looks like we could be leaving for China next month. OH my! We are praying for a speedy TA (travel approval) and that we will have Amelia in December.

I will keep you posted. This is great news for us. I am sitting here waiting for fed ex to bring the official package from our agency. Can't wait to see what's inside.

Take a look at her sweet face in the post below.


Isn't she a cutie?! Look at those cheeks. :)
Chinese Name: Xu Huan Qing
American Name: Amelia-Grace Huanqing Brizzi
DOB: 10/28/08
Province: Anhui
Capitol City: Hefei
Orphanage: Anqing Children's Welfare Institute (East Central China)
SN: Unrepaired cleft lip/cleft palate
Travel Dates: (praying for December)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Happy Birthday

Well, we have had two birthdays to celebrate this month. Frank's was on the 11th and once I figure out how to upload pictures I will do so. We also celebrate and wish we were with Amelia. TODAY is her 2nd birthday and she spends it without her family for the last time.

I can't help but think of her and wonder how her day was but hope that she had a great day. I really need to post more often and keep everyone updated on our family.

On last Friday some families received their RA (referral approval) from China which means they are officially approved to adopt the child that has been chosen for them. WE await this crazy approval from China as well and hope it comes soon. It is our prayer that we will be in China in December and home before the new year. Please pray with us about this.

Frank and I leave tomorrow for a few days away for a leadership conference in PA. I am excited to get away and to see what God has in store for us as we grow closer to Him.

Friday, October 10, 2008


Susannah came home from the hospital 5 days early which means she will be home on her birthday next week. THANK YOU LORD for answering our prayers.

Welcome Home Susannah.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Susannah's Home and Surgery Went Well!

Yeah God, you did it again; proved your faithfulness to us all. Thank you for bringing the Irwin's home and bringing Susannah through her heart procedure on Tuesday. We look forward to what you will do in this little girl's life and well as her family. Thank you for holding them up during this time.

We love you Lord!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Susannah is on her way HOME!!!!

Hello everyone, just wanted to let you know that Susannah is now officially an Irwin and is on her way home to TN. Please pray for safe travel and that her surgery will go well and for a full recovery. Thank you God for moving so many mountains on their behalf. You are AMAZING!

Friday, September 19, 2008

My THREE Sons!!!

This is a very nice picture of the guys taken last summer too.

Me and my girls

This is a picture of me and the girls taken last summer.

Room for at least One More

Please pray for Susannah. Praise God she is doing much better. She really needs to get her to the US for surgery asap. Keep Susannah and her family in your prayers. See the link posted below.

Room for at least One More

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A First

Yesterday, Hope started her first day of pre-school. I think that I was more nervous than she waiting for the bus to arrive. We waited about 35 minutes or so because we did not know the time that the bus would arrive.

Anyway, the bus came and she freaked out a little bit but I got her on the bus. I followed the bus, walked her into class and after about 10 minutes I left. She had a great day. I thought that I would be lost without her but I did ok. I teared up a bit in the morning but realized that this would be a good thing.

Today we are off to get her supplies and a new back pack. She is so excited.

Monday, September 8, 2008


Our yardsale this past Saturday was a huge success. Despite the bad weather and rain, our INSIDE yardsale went very well. Thank you to all of thos folks who came out to help.

We were blessed financially as well even though there was not a steady stream of shoppers. We will try again this week-end so be praying that this too will be successful. I pray that lots of folks come to shop and support our effots and help us get to China.

Adoption Update!

On Monday, August 18th, our ageny AWAA sentan EA (electonic acceptance) to China. And, so we wait. Well, on Friday September 5, 2008 we received an e-mail from AWAA saying that China had pre-approved us to adopt Xu Huanqing. This is great news!

The next step is waiting for them to pull the dossier (paperwork) that we gathered over a year ago, translate it into Chinese and then from their, give an official approval. We are really wanting to travel this year so, please pray with us that this will happen.

We are also praying that we can travel with good friends of ours who we met in Chine for our first adoptions. They are adopting a SN little girl as well and will be going to the same province that we are. We were so excited to hear that.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

We have a daughter!!!

Hello everyone!

We have accepted a referral for our daughter! She is 22 months old and from the Anhui Province. This week-end will be a world wind of paperwork. Monday we will have our pediatrician review her medical file.

Once paperwork is done, we will forward it to our agency at which time they will send an electronic acceptance (EA) to China. From there, we await the pre-approval (PA) from China and then wait for TA (travel approval).

Believing God is in control, we look forward to meeting our daughter and bringing her home. Emotions will be up and down but we trust God.

We have a daughter!!!

It is hard to believe that we have received and accepted a referral TODAY! Believing that God is in control, Amelia Grace will be coming home in early 2009.

She is from Anhui Province in China. Born 10/28/06 she is 22 months old and has an unrepaired cleft lip/palate.

The next few days will be filled with paperwork and document review by our pediatrician. By monday evening, China will have received our EA (electronic acceptance) of the referral and will review our file. From this point, we will wait 3-4 months for PA (pre-approval) and then TA (travel approval) which is 6-8 weeks after approval.

Please keep us in your prayers as we pray for God's provision, safe travel, the health and well-being of Mia and that she is healthy and loved.

Though our house is calm at the moment, we are shocked but happy to know that we have made it to this process only 3 months after applying for SN. God's timing is not our timing and we TRUST him.

More to come!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

In Memory of Maria Chapman

Remember the Chapman family today. One week ago today, they lost their youngest daughter Maria (5 years old) in a terrible accident. Our hearts break for them during this time of loss. They will need our prayers from today on as they grieve and us along with them.

The Chapman family is instrumental in helping to bring millions of orphans home to their forever families. God bless and comfort them and their family at this time.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Todd Smith of Selah

If you haven't heard, it is with sad news that I report that Todd and his wife Angie lost a child on April 7, 2008. Apparantly, they knew of this during Angie's pregnancy. Keep them in your thoughts and prayers during this time.

See blog: http://audreycaroli ne.blogspot. com/

I'm Back!

Well, its been a while so let me give you a quick update.

On April 6, Dominic preached his first sermon for the youth service. The message was on perseverance which we all need to hear. Hunter was also an usher. Needless to say, I was very proud of them. His examples came from the book of Daniel and 2 Corinthians and Paul. He also spoke about Wilma Rudolph and Abraham Lincoln.

Earlier that morning Gabrielle had a gymnastics competition at which she did very well. I was able to see 3 of her 4 events; bars (8.2), vault (7.25), beam (8.65). She received a 9.1 on floor (1st place) and 6th place all-around. Brie texted me to give me this information. What a great day for the kids. I am soproud of all of them. It was a crazy day for me trying to be in 2 places at one time but it all worked out.

This past week-end, I went on a scrapbooking week-end with my peeps (Alex, Lena and Lynn). We had a great time. Lots of food, little sleep and the beauty of the Lord. We stayed along the Potomac River at a campsight. The beauty of His majesty surrounded me! I was able to get over 40 pages done which made up 2 of the 4 kids books. Hunter's is next. Finding the time now will be hard I will make it work. Thank God school is almost over! Praise the Lord.

On April 12, we hit our one-year mark of waiting for our referral for Amelia. Boy did that time fly by. I only hope that the next year goes just as fast so that we can bring our daughter home.

Pastor Chris and Alex will leave on May 1st and I am so excited that I get to take them to and from the airport. I get to see Raia when she comes home and enters the USA. Yippee!!!!

Well, that about all for now, til next time.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008


Today we celebrate Gabrielle's 9th birthday! I can hardly believe it. We celebrated last week-end with an ice skating party with her siblings and lots of friends.

This afternoon she will share cupcakes at school with friends. Then it is off to Clare's to shop. Next stop is gymnastics practice where she will once again have cupcakes with her friends.

Thank you God for blessing me with another child. HAPPY BIRTHDAY GABRIELLE!!!!

Crazy Days!!!!!

Well, it's been a while since my last post. Go figure with the crazy month we had, who had time to even breathe.

January was filled with birthday parties, (Jan 4 - mine), preparing for a gymnastics meet at our gym featuring Olympic Gymnast Dominique Dawes and sick kids. Hunter and Hope were sick all week-end during the met. Gabrielle missed 3 days of school following the meet. There is definitely something going around lots of kids and adults were sick but finally feeling better. Thank God.

Well I managed to make it through my birthday hardly believing that I turned 43 wow!

The last week-end of the month was very busiy preparing for the meet. Seeing Dominique again after a few months was very exciting. The girls love her! She is very motivating and loves to encourage the girls. She is very down to earth. The boys almost had a chance to go with her to get coffee at Starbucks but, that got canned. Maybe next time.

Gabrielle made one of her goals that day by receiving a 9.0 on Beam. It was a beautiful routine! She got an 8.2 on vault, 8.65 on floor and 7.85 on bars. She continues to improve her scores at each meet. So much so that she has already made it to state in May. The team placed 3rd and Gabrielle placed 4th on Beam and Floor and 8th on vault. Way to go!

Frank continues to work hard and is taking classes to complete his credentials for ministry. God has big plans for us in 2008!

Hope all is well with you all.

Friday, January 4, 2008


Boy does time sure fly by. What happen to the year 2007? Hope that you all had a very blessed Christmas. We had a great time away in Florida. The weather was unbelievable. Temperatures were in the hi 70's and got as high as 88. Thank goodness we packed a pair of shorts.

While we enjoyed our time away, all 4 kids were sick with fevers and colds from 12/23-12/26. Thankfully, Gabrielle was at the end of her cold when it came time for her practice and competition on Friday and Saturday. Her team came in 3rd place while she finished up 10th coming in 7th place on both beam and floor.

Hope-Elizabeth had a great time during her first ever trip to Magic Kingdom. December is a very busy time of year their. Disney ended up closing the park at around 12:30 on Christmas Day and giving free parking to Epcot with a shuttle ride back to MK. There was an estimated 800,000 people in attendance. All of the parks were crowded, so we didn't get to ride many rides but we did enjoy a couple of parades.

Most of the parks were crowded but we made the most of it which was good. It could have been a very stressful time. We picked up or nephew Jordan on the way down to FL and surprised all of the kids by presenting him with a ticket to Disney World. He had never been either. What a treat. I have to say, there were times when I didn't think that they enjoyed the parks early on but we made it through.

Made it back to MD on New Year's Eve and spent a quite evening at home with a few friends by bringing the New Year in with prayer. What a great way to spend the evening. Oh yea I almost forgot, my sister had her twins on 12/31/07. A boy, Davonte weighing in at 4lbs 11 oz and a little girl named Devon weighing 3lbs 13 oz. They are both healthy but will have to stay in the NICU for a few weeks but all in all they are fine and so is little sis. She should be home on Monday next week.

Today I celebrate what I can not believe is my 43rd birthday! Wow! All I can say is thank you God for allowing me to see another year. I look forward toa great year full of health, a closer walk with God and His presence as well as big changes in 2008 (new beginnings). I pray that you all as well as my family and children experience God's love in '08.

Check ya later!