Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Baby Shower

Last night my daughter Kami, my sister-in-law Stehphany, my best friends Julie and Debbie had a baby shower for Emma. The shower was actually planned for tonight, but when we found out our travel arrangements they had to change it to May 30. I can't tell you how proud I am of my daughter for all the effort and hard work that went into her planning this shower. I know now that she will be able to handle just about anything that life throws her way. She made sure that I didn't have to do anything so that I wouldn't be stressed out before leaving. Kami, I just want you to know how wonderful I think that you are. You have such a loving, compassionate spirit. I love you! Here is one of the cakes with our little Emma on it. Who could eat that cake? Here are Kami and Meghan leading us in a game! They asked questions of Mike beforehand about raising children and about our experiences with Kami and Meghan when they were little. They video taped his answers. At the shower they would ask me a question. Here is an example. How many diapers does a baby use in a day? Then the guests would guess what the answer was and write it down. I then answered the question, which of course was 12. Then they would play Mike's answer, which of course was also 12! And if they guessed right they got a point. It was the best shower game I have ever played! Mike was so cute with his answers. The big one he got wrong was what Emma's name means! The deserts were awesome. This one was a favorite. Missy from my soccer team made it! I will have to get the recipe, because so many people want it. So Missy send me the recipe! Here we are waiting for things to begin. So many people came! I am such a lucky person to have so many people that care. My Mom had so many friends come in support of her. I had friends from Church, friends from soccer, friends that became friends along the way becuase they were friends of friends, family, Marlene who does my hair and just about eveyone elses hair that was here. Friends that have been friends as long ago as being at my baby shower for Kami and Meghan, friends that I have worked with etc. Thank you all so much for coming and supporting us as we begin our new journey in our lives. We appreciate all the love and support that you have given us. I want to especailly thank my daughters for being such special people. You are everything that I have ever hoped for. If you had not made parenting such a joy, I don't know if this is something that we would be doing again. I love being your Mom and I am so excited that you get to share in this time with me. I love you girls!

Monday, May 29, 2006

Referral Call

This is the day of the referral call, Meghan and I are seeing Emma for the first time.

Sunday, May 28, 2006


On Saturday we finished packing except for just a few things still in the laundry. We are taking one big suitcase( the one pictured in bright blue at the bottom of this picture. It holds my clothes, Emma's clothes, Emma's diapers, some of Emma's formula, Cheerios in those Pringle cans, etc. On the top left is Mike's medium sized suitcase. It has toys for Emma, all the office type stuff (pen, white out, stapler, paperclips, rubberbands etc) Emma's Hip Panda (carrier) and Mike's clothes. These will be our two check in suitcases. The one on the right at the top is a carry on that just makes size (I hope). It has all of the bottles, bowls, spoons, more formula, medicines for Emma, medicines for us, things for washing clothes (clothes line, soaps), things for washing bottles, (nipple brush, bottle brush, inflatable sink, tongs etc.), bath supplies for Emma, diaper bag supplies, baby wipes and on and on! Here is a picture of the suitcases. In additon to this Mike will carry a backpack (his carry on) that will hold all the electronics (video camera, digital camera, ipod and speakers, extra batteries, etc) and the all important dossier and papers. He will carry the lap top in it's case as his personal item. I will have the small case pictured above as my carry on and a diaperbag backpack that for this part of the trip will hold my toiletries and things for the plane. Whew! Another view of the suitcases! Emma, here we come! Only 3 more days until we leave and only and only 8 days until you are in our arms. Today you are 9 months old! We will meet you when you are 9 months and 8 days old. I wish we could have come sooner baby!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Green Stroller and Airline tickets!

O.K, one of these days I will figure out how to download the pictures in the order I want. So they will be a little out of order. Kami and Meghan playing with the jogging stroller my YPO forum sisters bought for me. A girl has to have her favorite colors. Daddy loves walking around Babies R Us with his pink stroller. All the women stop to admire it. I am ready to lose this baby fat! I just need Emma and off we go! The Airline tickets are here!!!!!!!

The girl's are excited to put the stroller together for their new sister.

Emma's ticket with her Chinese name. I am so excited to have the tickets in my hand! (The girls made me do this!)

Shower continued!

It was Laurie's birthday, my shower, Cathy's 50th birthday, and Myrna became a Grandma again!! Here is the jogger they got me. It was to be delivered to my house today, but I wasn't home. It should be there tomorrow when I get home! I am one lucky mommy! Thank you forum sisters for being there for me throughout this long wait for Emma. You have been there for me on my up days and my down days. You have been there throught the tears and the smiles. You are the first ones that I shared the idea of adopting with. You have shared in this whole process with me. I want to thank you all for the support that you have given me. I can't wait for Emma to meet her Mommies friends! Thank you!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Surprise Baby Shower!!!!!!

Tonight I am in La Costa with my YPO sisters. We had spa treatments this afternoon and then had our meetings and went to dinner. When we came back from dinner our rooms were all set up for a surprise baby shower!!!! I had no idea! I am the luckiest person in the world to have friends that care so much about my family! Emma got so many cute things! Aren't those plates the cutest? The words are written in Chocolate! They also bought me a green jogging stroller to match my green m&m motorcycle!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


May 31, Travel. June 1, Travel. June 2, Arrive. June 3, Visit the Great Wall. June 4, Tour Tiananman Square, Forbidden City, Old Street, visit the silk factory, lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe, airport. June 5, Go to the local adoption center to meet Emma Sophia Mingjing Poma. June 6, Bonding with babies and shopping. June 7, Visit the Three Gorge Museum. June 8, See the Panda's at the zoo. June 9, fly to Guangzhou. June 10, Medical exam for Emma. June 11, Visit museum and pearl market. June 12, Visa Appointment, sightseeing and Jade market in the afternoon. June 13, Ceremony at the US consulate, pick up visa's. June 14, relax or shop and then on our way home.

Passports, Visa's, Dossier's Oh My!

Our Visa's are ready! Our passports are ready! And I have put all the critical papers in the Dossier to take with us. In addition to the whole dossier we have added- ammended I-171H form with new fingerprint dates, the contents of the famous brown envelope, the I- 1600 form, the Medical examination of Applicants (for Emma), The Affidavit for vaccinations, latest pay stub, travel insurance, the names of my group from EAC, papers that we have that tell what to do if Emma is sick, Chinese directions to our hotel in Beijing, and important numbers we may need, a convertor chart to convert Yuan to USD ! Whew!

Monday, May 22, 2006

MAY 31!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We are now leaving on May 31 at almost midnight!!!!!! Our plans are falling in to place. Tomorrow I make the drive back to Los Angeles to pick up our visas! One set of our airplane tickets should arrive tomorrow and the other set on Wednesday or Thursday. We are getting closer!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Travel Approval and Consulate Appointment!

We now have travel approval Leave, June 1st Arrive in Beijing, June 2 Tour the Great Wall, June 3 Tour the Forbidden City and other sightseeing, June 4 Leave Beijing and fly to Chongqing also on, June 4 Get Emma "M" Day, June 5 Fly to Guangzhou, June 9 Consulate appointment, June 12 Fly home, June 14 Tomorrow we will start working on getting our flight arrangements! It is going to be a busy 10 days!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Busy Days!!!!!

Today Kami and I drove to the Chinese Consulate to turn in our Visa application! On the way back we had a million errands to run! With a tentatiive TA of June 1st I have a lot to get done!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Tentative Travel Approval

Today is our Anniversary! Twenty-six years! And today my agency called and told me to go get my Visa. We have tentative travel approval! What that means is that my agency has word that TA's are on their way and they expect that we will be able to travel on or near June 1st! This is way earlier than I expected! That is only two weeks! Needless to say there is much to do. My shower is planned for May 31! And we have plans to be away both weekends before travel! Emma we are so close! Mommy and Daddy are almost there to scoop you up and give you all the love you deserve! We will know more in a few days. Probably early next week.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Updated Picture's Of Our Emma

Today we received new updated pictures of Emma Sophia Mingjing Poma! I am so happy to have recent picture. She looks a little scared. She is wearing my favorite colors, pink and green! And anyone who knows me knows that I love bunnies! We have new sizes too. She is 8 1/2 months old and is 16 1/2 lbs and 26.7 inches tall.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

We Have Emma's Finding Ad

We have Emma's finding ad. Since 1999, the orphanages in China are required to run a provincial newspaper advertisement for children that are found and brought to their orphanage. These ads contain information about where and when the children were found and which orphanage is caring for them. Originally these were text-only ads, but most provinces now include photographs in their ads. These photographs are usually the earliest available pictures of the children, some from as young as a few weeks old. This is the picture we received of Emma Sophia Mingjing. I don't know her exact age but it is a very young photo. Maybe just a week after she was found. I know that Emma Sophia will cherish every part of her past that we can collect. And she will be happy to have a picture of her as a newborn. The ad says.... Name: Qian Ming Jing Sex: Girl Birth date: 8/28/05 She is healthy. Date arrived at orphanage: 8/31/05 Finding date: 8/21/05 Finding location: At the end of the Xisha Bridge, Qianjiang District. She was a little chubby. She had nothing with her when found. I find comfort in the fact that it says she was a little chubby. This makes me think that her birth mom was taking care of her those first 3 days. Here she is with other babies found around the same time. She is the 7th one in the top row. Here is where we ordered her ad.Research-China: Home

Friday, May 12, 2006

The Stork!

In all the excitement I forgot to post a picture of the Stork. This was the fed ex man holding the envelope that had Emma's pictures and medical/development information. He was very happy to pose for me. Umm.... too bad I didn't get his face! But it is a great picture of his truck. When I told him what was in the package he was so excited. He told me that he had already left the loading area and was out on his route when they called and told him that under a stack they had found a package that he was too deliver by 10:30. Another driver met him out on his route and gave it to him to bring to us. Whew!!! I am glad they didn't lose it! And it was delivered exactly at 10:30 on April 28, the day Emma Sophia turned 8 months exactly!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Emma Is In Foster Care

In July of 2004, there were approximately 150 babies at the orphanage. In January of 2005, there were nearly 200. As of January 2006, according to the Civil Affairs office, there are 200 children,and 160 of these are under 10 months of age. There is one care taker per 15 children and they work in 12 hour shifts (for the infants they have caretakers working in 8 hour shifts). Because of the large numbers of infants being abandoned in the region, they started a rudimentary foster care program where some families have 4-5 infants each. Today when I was talking to my adoption agency they informed me that Emma is in foster care. This was a surprise to me because I had just read that they had just started a foster care program. Then I found the above paragraph that says that their is a foster care program where some families have 4-5 infants. So I really don't now if Emma is in a foster home by herself or with more babies. I do know that at the moment it is a better place for her because she is getting more individualized care. But, it also may make her adjustment to us more difficult because of the separation from her foster family, added to her separation from the orphanage, and the first separation from her birth mom and dad. That is a lot for a small baby to handle. Pray that Emma will be able to attach to us after all this trauma she has experienced. My agency said to expect a grieving time that may result in closing herself off, crying, regressing, or any number of coping mechanisms a baby will come up with. I know that God has placed Emma in our family and we will do our best to show her how much she is loved.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Thank You Sue Bachman!

You may be wondering who Sue Bachman is? Well in my April DTC group we were assigned Secret Pals. Sue was the secret pal that I was buying for. You may also heard of the "red thread". In adoption it is said that there is a red thread that ties certain people together. It is fate, serendipity, coincidence, but I think it is God's Plan. The very first gift I bought for Sue and Jon's baby, Natalie, was her name written in Chinese Characters. I bought this in China Town in San Francisco when we were celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary, May 17, 2005. The red thread is that when Sue and Jon got their referral they found out that her birthday was May 17, 2005! The red thread continues however. Natalie was at the Qiangjiang Social Welfare center, Chongqing. When we got our referral April 27th our baby was from the same orphanage! Natalie and Emma share the same last name Qian (after the orphanage). Today when I got home I found a baby gift on my doorstep from Sue, Jon, and Natalie. Above is what they sent. The cutest jeans, with pink and green, at the bottom. (My favorite colors and the colors we have decorated Emma's room, with a cute little pink onesie, and a little tiny crochet sweater from Gymboree. She also sent a wonderful book called the Whit Swan Express. (It is an adoption story and some of the babies have the name Qian!) They also sent me Gerber graduates, and a coupon for a sale at Gymboree! I have the best secret pal ever! Thank you Sue, Jon, and Natalie.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Emma Sophia Mingjing Poma

We have decided that Emma's full name will be Emma Sophia Mingjing Poma. Here is her Chinese name written in Chinese Characters. The first one is Qian which is from the name of her orphanage. The Qianjiang Social Welfare Center. The second character is Ming which means clever or bright, and the third character is Jing which means gentle and quiet. Emma means Universal or All Embracing and Sophia which was both of my Great Grandmother's names means Wisdom. You can see that Emma has a lot to live up to with a name that means, All Embracing, Wisdom, Clever and Bright, and Quiet and Gentle.

Friday, May 05, 2006

More Pictures of Emma's Orphanage

Below is a picture of the babies on the floor at the Qianjiang Social Welfare Center. Here is another picture of the babies in cribs at the orphanage.
On Tuesday we sent Emma a care package. She should get it in two weeks. We sent a camera in hopes that the Nanny's will be able to get pictures of Emma, her environment, and her cribmates. We think these pictures will be priceless. We are told that at her orphanage they are good about taking the pictures. Of course there is a chance that we may not get any pictures back. We sent a photo album that had a picture of our family, Daddy and Mommy, big sister Kami, big sister Meghan, a picture of Emma, and a picture of our house. I labeled the pictures in Chinese so that the Nannys can point out who we are. We included a little blanket and some gum for the Nannys to share with each other. The most important thing that I included was a book, written in Chinese that asks questions about Emma. Her likes and dislikes. Her routine. If she has a particular friend. What she was found wearing etc. I know I may not get this book back but if I do it will probably be the most important thing that Emma will have from her life in the Orphanage. Pray that we will get this special book back and that the Nanny or Director will have filled it out. If they do we will get it translated when we get home.

I'm A Model!!!

Well, not really! I ordered a shirt from the Adoption Mama that said "Lucky Mommy" on it. Because, afterall, we are the lucky ones to be able to adopt our baby. I have had a lot of people say "Emma is a lucky baby". We are the lucky ones. So I found this wonderful company that sales shirts that say " Lucky Mommy" on them. And the best part is I received it in the mail just a few days before my referral. So I decided this would also be my "Referral Shirt". I wrote back to the Adoption Mama and thanked her for my shirt and of course I asked if I could get one in PINK and I put my address of my website on the end of my e-mail. She went to my blog and saw me wearing the shirt on referral day. She wrote back and said that they didn't have it in pink but maybe they would consider doing it. And she asked me to send in my picture wearing my referral shirt. Not really my best picture. I have such a nervous smile. It was literally just a few hours before "The Call" came in, but after I knew I would be getting the call that day. Today the Adoption Mama wrote me an e-mail saying they will be offering the shirt in Pink! And guess who is the first model on their page? Yup, me! A lot of people have been asking me where to get the "Referral Shirt". Here is the website.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Finding Ad

Since 1999, the orphanages in China are required to run a provincial newspaper advertisement for children that are found and brought to their orphanage. These ads contain information about where and when the children were found and which orphanage is caring for them. Originally these were text-only ads, but most provinces now include photographs in their ads. These photographs are usually the earliest available pictures of the children, some from as young as a few weeks old. Below is an example of a finding ad. We have been able to locate Emma's and should receive it in two weeks. This will be the youngest picture we will have of her. I am sure it will be very impotant for her to have a baby picture. We used a service to find us the ad. We will also get the whole page that will include all of the babies that have been found at that time.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Shopping for Emma!

Today, Kami and I went shopping for Emma. Now that we know her size there is a lot to buy! I was a little overwhelmed on everything we still need. Because I was waiting to hear her size I hadn't bought very much! Also, because she is so very young there is a lot of things to get that I didn't think we would need. Because Emma is so tiny she will probably be in 6-12 month clothes when we get her at 9 1/2 months. Many Mom's and Dad's go to China and find out their little one is even smaller than the weights they were given. You can imagine if Emma was weighed with all those clothes on that she has in her referral picture that the weight could be wrong. She might be only wearing 6 month clothes. So we will take mostly 6-12 month clothes with us. I think I have a problem though. Can you see what it is? PINK! I only seem to buy pink! It is my favorite color!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

More on Emma's Orphanage

Here you can see that there is a television for the babies to watch. It doesn't look like too many of them are watching. I wonder how many hours a day Emma sits in a walker? Here are some cribs at the Qiangjiang Social Welfare Center. You can see a baby sleeping in the front one. I can't get enough or seeing our little angel. Zhou, our guide from our agency, EAC, thinks that we will be able to visit Emma's orphanage. I hope that we will get to do that. I know it will be very important to her as she grows up, to know as much as she can about where she was before she came into our family. I understand it is quite a drive from Chongqing where we will be staying.

Emma's Orphanage

This is Emma's Orphanage. It is located in Qianjiang, Chongqing. There is one Nanny for 15 babies and they work 12 hour shifts. Here are the babies in walkers. With so many babies to watch it must be really difficult. We appreciate what the orphanage is doing but we know that there can't be more than the basic needs to survive being met. We can't wait to be there for Emma to hold her when she cries, to cuddle her, to play with her, to love her, and to give her the attention that every baby deserves. You can see in the background the backdrop that was used to take her referral picture. There is a nanny in the back also holding one of the babies.