Sunday, April 29, 2007
It's Sunday. I was bad and didn't go to church today. We got into a serious cleaning mode and didn't want to interrupt the momentum. Sorry God.
What cleaning you ask? I mopped under the couch. And what that means is we moved furniture all over the place to clean the floor. We had enough dog hair under the couch to make another dog! Oh, and never, ever, look under your rug on your hardwood floors. Ever. Really. The rug is not going back into the living room.
I'm still not actually finished even though I've been doing this for about 3 hours. P went around a put plug covers on all of the outlets, and Allen is trimming hedges and overgrown stuff outside.
This place is going to be ready to welcome home our newest family member. If it can stay in this state of clean!
Monday, April 23, 2007
At least I think everyone else did. I know I did. But, of course, I got to open presents! And we had potato salad and mimosas. And cake. And those little quiches. And cake. And mimosas. And potato salad.
I realized throughout this that most of my friends are from church. In fact, I think everyone there besides family and one friend (who's basically family) were church friends. A lot of them from DOK.
I will post pics of the loot soon. But suffice it to say, Josie is going to be comfy when she gets here.
Allen's mom was there of course. I had invited his aunt and cousin, but they were unable to make it. They did send gifts, though. It was very thoughtful of them, but we missed them. After the shower, Allen's mom offered to run some of the loot to our house. She left it at our front door and my mother and I took it in when we got home.
As we were carrying everything in, I noticed a box that didn't contain shower presents. It was full of books and software about China. Language software, instruction books, informational books, "The Art of War" in Chinese and English, several other books in Chinese and English. I thought, "Oh, I guess MIL has been collecting China stuff and left that as well. That was nice of her."
About 3 hours later, Allen noticed he had a voice mail from his mom. She had just called to let us know about the box of Chinese things. It was a collection sent by Allen's aunt that had belonged to his Uncle J. Uncle J who was so excited about our going to China to get our girl. He missed seeing her picture by one week.
When Allen told me what his mom said on the message, my eyes started tearing up. I went to the box to look more closely at its contents. These books contain notes and info written by Uncle J. They are books that he used when he needed to learn Chinese and become more familiar with the country. I can't believe we have them now. I'll make sure Josie knows where they came from, and how much Uncle J loved her homeland.
Friday, April 20, 2007
All of them are so excited about our adoption and have been waiting these past 2 years right along with us. They have been so supportive. I have been told more that once that this child's feet will never touch the ground at church. It's just such an amazing feeling to feel the love of all of these women.
Last night at our meeting, I told them we'd chosen a name. They all loved it. I also took the quilt along to show them.
In the past, our group has made prayer blankets for friends and parishioners that are ill. As we are making them, each person says a little prayer for the recipient. It's very moving as a participant, and the recipients really feel the love.
After I explained the original intent of this quilt being a 100 good wishes quilt, I asked if they would pray over it as well, as a friend had suggested. It was so moving to hear these women pray for Josephine, and for us. I felt like I should speak up and say a prayer of thanksgiving for all of them, but I couldn't find my voice.
I hope they know how much it meant to me. I really treasure this group of women.
One of them suggested that they all be the Godmothers. She was only half joking - if at all. It sounded like a wonderful idea to me. Now, if I could just convince Fr. D of that.
Thursday, April 19, 2007
That comment prompted me to realize that I never did post that picture that I took when he delivered Jiayin to us. So, without further ado, the FedEx man:
Another comment to the visa post was from Elastigirl asking if the FedEx man could also deliver a NAME!! Well alas, the FedEx man has not delivered a name.
Allen and I, however, have finally settled on a name. Our beautiful baby girl will be called Josephine Jiayin Lineberry. It is, as Allen points out, a lot of letters, but that's ok. We will probably be calling her Josie, unless she seems more like a Josephine when we meet her. Phoebe would like to call her Jojo.
So, one less thing to stress about. The girl has a name. And I love it!
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
There are a lot of sight seeing trips listed on it. While in Beijing, we'll see the Great Wall, Tian An Men Square, and the Forbidden City. All things I wanted to see. All in one day, May 12.
On the morning of May 13, we fly to Guangzhou and arrive there around 11:30am. Then we have 28 1/2 hours to kill before we get our babies. Maybe after arriving in Beijing at 9pm and spending the whole next day sightseeing, then getting on a plane the next morning to Guangzhou, it will be a good thing to have that much time to attempt to rest. Maybe I'll actually be able to rest. I hope I can. Otherwise, it will be a long day of waiting for the babies until 4pm on the 14th.
Then there are more sight seeing trips and official appointments to fill the next 10 days until we have our consulate appointment on the 24th. On the 25th, we get her visa and promise to take care of her. Then we head home on the 26th.
Wow, when we arrive home, she will have been with us for almost 2 weeks already.
It seems so simple when you put it on paper.
There are more, of course, and I just couldn't help going in search of them:
Oh, and can I say THREE WEEKS!!!!
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
I've seen other pictures of this building, so I knew that it looked pretty nice. But those pictures were taken at some unknown time, likely before our daughter was born.
But THIS picture. She's there.
She's going about her day to day life with no idea how her world is about to change. If I could only see through the walls and find her. Would I recognize her from the pictures we have? The pictures that I think were taken in December?
How can I not recognize her? I've looked at her little face in those pictures for hours and memorized every detail. Her eyes, nose, earlobes. I think I can spot them a mile off.
So, she's there. We're here. But we're almost there. Just a little bit longer.
Saturday, April 14, 2007
And here it is:
I'm so excited. It looks great! The quilting pattern she used has fans and flowers.
The lady also made a pillowcase for Phoebe using the material on the back:
It's just too cute!
Thursday, April 12, 2007
I've moved things around over in the right hand column. I've kind of collected, over the past few days, the sites of those people who are with our agency and are traveling at the same time we are. Some of them will be going to the same province that we are. Some are people I've gotten to know, in a cyber kind of way, over the last 2 years. Some I've only just met, again in a cyber kind of way.
It is just mind blowing that we are going to the other side of the planet to bring home our child, as each of these families are, and we will be taking part in such a intense experience with these families. I feel like I know them. But I've never actually met them. I will be sharing in this experience with them and it will bond us for life. Our lives will always be connected.
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Ours came about 2:00. It was the same FedEx man that delivered our baby. I said, "hey, you delivered my baby. Now you're delivering visas so I can go get her." He kind of laughed like "yeah, I remember you, nut job." But he said, "Congratulations. Have a safe trip."
So, now we really, really can go to China.
We will be leaving on May 10th and returning on May 26th. Yes, that's a repeat from yesterday, but today it's a sure thing. I think we land back at DFW around 4 the afternoon of the 26th. P will be staying home with her Grandmothers taking turns staying with her and the dog.
Yesterday, our social worker sent me the email address of another client also in the greater metro area, who is with our agency and is also going to China on the 10th. I told her she could also send our email address to that family. This morning I received an email from the Nelsons and it looks like we may be on the same flight to China. She also sent my info to a friend of hers who is ALSO with our agency, also lives in the greater metro area, AND whose daughter is in the same province as Jiayin. So, we'll probably be spending lots of time with them.
Now to add a little more to this, the Nelsons' daughter is in Hunan. My friend K, up in Washington State who is also with the same agency, is going to Hunan. So, I passed along info since they will be traveling the whole time together.
I love the connections that are possible with "the Internets".
Sing it with me. "It's a small world, afterall...."
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
We will likely leave China May 26, depending on what flight Allen gets, and be home Memorial Day weekend. That will be determined later today.
So we WILL be back before the end of May, if just barely.
Monday, April 09, 2007
Here's the crazy part. Remember (maybe) that last month referrals covered dossiers logged in in China through October 24, 2005? Well, this month's referrals cover dossiers logged in through...are you ready?...October 26, 2005. Yep. Two days. I feel horrible for those families who felt, understandably, that they were next with a log in date of, say, October 31. This hasn't been confirmed on the CCAA website yet, but our agency has a group logged in October 26 (getting referrals) and a group logged in October 28 (not getting referrals). Up until now, the shortest time period I'd seen covered in one month was 5 days. That was last summer during "the dark times" we all thought we'd never get through.
I can't imagine what on Earth could have happened for only two days' worth of log ins to be referred. Could this be the batch that is more directly affected by Chinese New Year? I don't know why, but I guess it could be.
I will post blogs with referrals as soon as I see them.
Meanwhile, we are waiting on confirmation of our CA which will tell us our definite travel dates and we can acquire our plane tickets. Are you kidding me? Actual tickets to China??? Whew!
Friday, April 06, 2007
One person who should have received her referral last month and was skipped DID get her referral today. You can see all of the information here. What a cutie! These people have truly been through a lot and it's so exciting to see them finally get their referral.
I'm not sure what the official cut-off date for referrals is, but there are horrible rumors that it is 2 days later than the date last month's referrals went through.
I will post more referrals soon.
Thursday, April 05, 2007
I've told multiple people today that it would probably be next week before we heard anything.
The next step will be confirmation of our consulate appointment (CA). The agency has requested our CA for the week of May 21, giving us a tentative departure date of May 10. Could "Gotcha Day" be Mother's Day? If not, it will be close.
All of these travel estimates mean, of course, that we will be in China on P's birthday. I figured that would be the case, but I'm still a little sad about it. After all, I've been with her on all of her birthdays. She'll be fine. We'll be fine. Everything will be OK.
We're almost there! I can't believe it!
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
As someone who received my referral last month, not only am I ready to see the cute faces of this month's referrals, but I also know that when referrals arrive, TAs are not far behind.
Some families who received their referral when we did have already received TA, but they are few and far between. Last month our agency's TAs came a few days after referrals arrived, so I'm just going to go with that expectation this month. One family who has received TA will be traveling May 10, another will be traveling May 3 with Gotcha Day on the 7th. I'm pretty much hoping for this time table, personally. Go figure.
There is a government holiday the first week of May, but the first 3 or so days we are in China, we won't have any government appointments, so maybe we can be there waiting when government offices reopen. Just a thought. Of course, the best scenario would be getting the 21 or 28 day advance notice we need to be able to use our air miles or credit card points. I've really been working very hard to rack up those credit card points. I'd hate to not use them :)
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
...And Autumn Makes Six
Bringing Home Baby Hannah
This one should have something soon. "Gotcha Day" was today: Journey to Ella
And if that isn't enough for you, go here. Grab the tissue.
Monday, April 02, 2007
I love blogs. It's fantastic to get to share these moments from the other side of the planet.
As an update, we are still waiting for TA. We should hear something this week or next week.
AND we're closing in on a name.