Thursday, March 29, 2007

Well, We Can Go Now

Yep. I'm ready. I know, I haven't been feeling ready or prepared for anything, but all is well. Today I purchased Gerber finger foods to take to China and use to win the heart of my daughter. Yes, small star-shaped puffed rice something is now in my kitchen and I'm ready for China.

AND I registered at Babies R Us today. Of course, when I try to go look at it online, I have to look by the registry number. If I put in our last name and TX, it comes back with nothing. If I put in the first 2 letters of our last name, my first name and TX, it actually comes up. I know what you're thinking, but the last name is spelled correctly on the registry. So, it's a darn good thing those shower invitations haven't gone out yet. Ha. Gotta get that address list to my wonderful friends throwing this shower. (By the way, S, the stork WILL get used again AFTER MY shower! It will not go missing. HeeHee)

But for now, I need to pack for NYC where I'll be spending a wonderful weekend away with my hubby. One last hurrah. Who knows when we'll make it there again.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Where Are We Now?

Just a brief summary of all that is going on now.

We are awaiting travel approval (TA) from the Chinese government. Our agency sent back our acceptance of our referral on March 13, so that means that we've been waiting 2 weeks. The average wait for TA is 3-5 weeks. Last month TAs arrived at our agency a few days after referrals arrived. About a week after we receive our TA, we will have confirmation of our consulate appointment (CA). When we get that confirmation, we will know our travel dates for certain.

We sent our passports with our visa applications to our agency today. To obtain a visa from the Chinese consulate, one must deliver the application in person or hire a courier to deliver the application in person. Since, I'm not driving or flying to Houston, that means hiring a courier. Conveniently, our agency can act as our courier through an arrangement with the Houston consulate. It's that or find a courier that we have not dealt with previously who is local to Houston ourselves. So, off to the agency the visa applications went today.

We also sent a request for our agency to send a care package to Jiayin at her orphanage. Again, this is something we could do ourselves. However, rather than go shipping something to China ourselves that may or may not be delivered to the orphanage, our agency will send a little goody box from their Beijing office that actually will make it to the orphanage. We can include a picture and a message, which we are doing. I wasn't planning on shipping anything near and dear to me anyway, so the blanket and teddy bear in the agency goody box is good for me. The box also includes a camera for the orphanage to take pics of our girl until we go get her. This is the main thing I wanted to send, anyway.

So, now we continue to wait and prepare. And prepare and wait.

I think I'm going to go this week and actually register at Babies R Us. Seeing all of my fellow October LIDers in China now or in the next few days is really getting me excited. To say "we'll be traveling in May" seems like a long way off. But considering that it will hopefully be the beginning of May and it is now the end of March, it's really just over a month away!

Wow. Now, if we could just CHOOSE A NAME!!!

Judy and Don Have Marlee!

It is just so amazing that all of these people I've "met" online, who I feel like I know, are finally in China getting their babies.

Judy and Don, who have grown children - one of whom is in Iraq, but will be on his way home soon, are in China right now and finally have their dear Marlee. She's adorable!

Click on their names and see for yourself.

Monday, March 26, 2007

You May Need Kleenex

Go read this blog. It's over in the list on the right, but they are in China now and just got their baby. The mom couldn't travel, so it's the dad and one of their sons. The dad's post is awesome.

Did I just say awesome?

Monday, March 19, 2007

And Just Because...

You know, the pics I posted on referral day have gone off of the first page of the blog, so...

The Things You Forget

I'm starting to realize a few things. Did you know that just because you had a baby almost six years ago doesn't mean that you have any clue what to do when faced with bringing home a ten month old?

We were at lunch with friends yesterday who have a baby girl that is 2 1/2 weeks younger than Jiayin. Every time I look at her I just can't believe that's how big our baby is like right now. When my friend took out the baby food to feed her (oranges and what?) I suddenly thought, can't I just feed her table food?

I was talking to A last night about it after he had just made P a peanut butter sandwich. I guess we can't just make 2 peanut butter sandwiches to feed the girls dinner, huh? We just started laughing the idea of all the things we've kind of forgotten about that P can do on her own. All at once I'm thinking, "what was I thinking?!" and "I can't wait!"

So, I'm off to to find out what it is babies are eating these days.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Nursery Pictures...Finally

The nursery is pretty close to done. We need to take those things in the pictures that don't belong out of the room. We need to put a few baby toys in. Oh, and we need the baby!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Better Left to the Professionals

Way back in the summer of 2005, I sent an email around to several friends asking them to contribute a square of fabric to make a quilt for the baby. The quilt is called a "100 Good Wishes Quilt." There is a Chinese tradition to welcome a new baby where a quilt was made out of the clothes of friends and family to wrap the baby in good wishes.

I received a few pieces, then joined a quilt square exchange on one of the adoption yahoo groups I belong to. Allen's mom brought a treasure trove of pieces of clothing from several relatives on Allen's side of the family. Add to that several quilt squares that my mom had that were fabric from clothes that she'd made me in childhood, and getting 100 squares was no problem.

Summer 2006 arrived and my mother and I finally got together and sewed together the quilt topper. Now, it's March 2007. The quilt topper is in danger of being a wedding present to our newly referred daughter. Last weekend, a friend of mine told me about a local store where I could take the topper and they would magically turn it into a quilt. A friend's mom, well also a friend, had offered to sit down with me and help me turn this topper into a full-fledged quilt. While I'd still love to sit down with her and learn to quilt, I just didn't see it happening anytime soon.

So, I left the topper in the hands of an able professional, picked out fabric for the back and will go back in about a month to get it. A month may seem like a while, but really, I still have a blanket I started crocheting for P WHEN I WAS PREGNANT WITH HER IN 2000 that I haven't finished yet. A month is nothing.

In other news, our agency sent our acceptance to China today. Now another countdown begins - waiting for travel approval.

Also, go check out this blog. These people are in China now getting their precious girl.

Monday, March 12, 2007

One More Step

Today, we sent our acceptance letter to our agency. There were two documents to sign, actually. One for the agency, and one for the CCAA . We actually had to check a box saying that we accept the child assigned to us.

We spoke last night to a doctor in Denton that knows a thing or two about international adoption. He had reviewed a copy of the medical records that our agency sent to us. He confirmed that all of Jiayin's medical info looks great. He said that her weight at 5 months was in the 75th percentile on the Chinese girl growth charts. That's a first for us. We were happy that P was finally up to the 50th percentile at her 5th birthday.

We had a little party over the weekend to celebrate the referral. We had a few friends over to pop open the bottle of Dom sent to us by some out of state friends a year or two ago. So, it was like they were here, too. It was a nice celebration.

So, our next stept in this process is....waiting. We are now waiting for travel approval (TA) from the Chinese government. Others from our agency who received their referrals at the beginning of February had about a 4 week wait for TA's, so I'm assuming ours will be something similar. Then we wait a little bit longer for a Consulate appointment, THEN we'll know when we are actually to China to bring home our baby!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

More Referrals

More cute little faces:

Journey to Baby Lexi - Lexi, 9 mos, Guangdong
Our Heart's Desire - Fu Baohong, 9 mos, Fuling SWI, Chongqing
A Child Born in the East - Fu Fang Qi, 17 mos, Hunan
Sophie Elizabeth - Feng Xiao Jia, 8 mos,
2 Cranky Cats - Jin Chun Xiao, 11 mos, Jiangxi
Sophie May Qian - Wu Huiqian, 14 mos, Gansu
Meili - You Fu Lai, 14 mos, Sichuan
Our Journey to Jae Lyn Feng Xiao Jie, 7 mos, Feng Cheng SWI, Jiangxi
Lovin' Cora-li Lian Bao Lu, 11 mos, Lianjiang SWI, Guangdong
Journey to Alexis Fu Baofan, 10 mos, Fuling SWI, Chongqing
Journey to Faith Yangxi Zi Zi, 6 mos, Yangxi, Guangdong province
Baby Makes 3 Lian Zhi Hui, 9 mos, Lianjiang SWI, Guangdong

Where Is Jiayin?

Where, oh where, is my Yin Yin? Below is a map of China. At the bottom right, sorry Southeast, edge of the country is a purple colored province. That is Guangdong. The province where she is waiting.

The next picture is of Guangdong Province only. Well, mostly. If you look a little to the Northwest of Macau, you will see Jiangmen. That is the city where her orphanage is.

She's already a southern girl! Living near several rivers that run to the South China Sea. I can't wait to see it.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

More Referrals!!

OK, I guess Miss Jiayin can share the spotlight with a few other babies. It only seems fair.

Shania - Fu Bao Jun, 14 mos, Fuling SWI Chongqing
Waiting for Melina - Lian Ai Ning, 7 mos, Guangdong
Journey to Lindsey - Lindsey Jean Zhi-bin, 10 mos, Guangdong
Journey to Jaiden - Ling Qian Huhan, 10 mos, Jiangxi province
For Zoey - Jin Chun Hua, 11 mos, Jiangxi
Meaghan Grace - Zhu Min Zhu, 14 mos, Guangdong
Table for 6 - Xi Zhen Rong, 7 mos, Kunming SWi, Yunnan
Ainsley's MeiMei - Yue Meng Ru, 7 mos, Jiangxi
Christiana - Fu Bao Fang, 9 mos, Fuling SWI, Chongqing
Countdown to Caroline! - Ling Cha Jian, 8 mos, Jiangxi
Have Yet to Decide Her Name - Baohong Fu, 10 mos, Fuling SWI, Chongqing
Journey to Caty - Huang Wang Cui, 7 mos, Hubei
Emily & Rachel's Dad - daughter, 12 mos, Gunagdong
Our Magical Mystery Tour - Fu Hao Huang, 21 mos, Hubei
Bringing Home Peanut - Feng Xiaojiong, 7 mos, Fengcheng SWI, Jiangxi
Here's Isabelle! - Isabelle, 14 mos, Chongqing
Journey to Maya Lily - Lian Bao Yan, 11 mos, Guangdong
And Mia Makes 3 - Feng Xiao Lei, 8 mos, Jiangxi

Monday, March 05, 2007

Here She Is!!

I just can't believe it.

It's a Girl!

The call came at 2:00!

Here's what we know:

She is 7 1/2 months old! Her name is Xin, Jia Yin (nickname Yin Yin). In December, at 5 months, she weighed 15 pounds! She is in Guangdong province. She has chubby cheeks and no hair. We haven't seen a picture yet, but will receive one later today.


We received word from our agency this morning that referrals are on their way and should arrive in their office today. Once received the agency will call all families this afternoon with the good news. We will also receive a picture via email.

I will post everything when we receive it. It could be late this afternoon.

I can't believe it's finally here! I can't breathe.

I am happy to say that the LID group right after us is also included in this batch of referrals. Their documents actually went to China the week before ours, but were logged in the week after ours. Last week it looked like they would not be included.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Do The Crazy Dance With Me

Oh, come on. Don't act like you don't know the steps.

I haven't heard anything from our agency so far today. Two people on a yahoo group with Oct. 27, 05 LIDs said they've been told they're not in. They did not say how their agencies knew that. They did say that their agencies didn't know the official cut off date.

What this says to me is that there IS a cut off date. Which means they are wrapping up matching. WHICH MEANS next week is looking better and better for referrals. That's what I've been assuming, but I have seen a few rumors that it could be 2 weeks before referrals arrive. I'm choosing to stick with past experience with our agency and hoping that common sense will somehow factor in.

Whenever I hear something like referrals could not be here for 2 more weeks, my first thought is "there's no reason for that." Then I remember that several times throughout this process, there has been no rhyme or reason for all kinds of things.

To quote the late Uncle J, "It is what it is."

I will post any updates if I get any.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Almost Through Another Week

So, here it is late on Thursday night. It has been a long and tiring week.

Uncle J's funeral was today. It was a lovely service. That sounds cliche, but it was nice hearing what a strong, brave, and faith-filled person he was all the way to the end.

There are no more adoption rumors to report from today. It's probably a good thing that most of my day was otherwise occupied, or I would have been glued to my computer hitting refresh on my email and my yahoo groups.

Our agency sent an email saying they are trying to get any and all information that they can on referrals and hope to have an update tomorrow. If we hear anything, I will definitely post it.

I'm going on a women's retreat this weekend. The timing couldn't be better. I didn't decide to go until a couple of weeks ago, and boy am I glad I did. Hopefully it will recharge my reserves for the anticipated joyous news next week.