Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Paperwork Progress for Lily

After getting the 1800A approval I made copies of everything and sent the originals to Sacramento through a courier  to be taken to the State Department for Certification.  The only document that did not go was Mikes birth certificate since he was born in another State.  I have another courier. that will receive all of the documents from the first courier by fed ex  and take them to the Chinese Consulate for me in Los Angeles.  So these precious documents leave my hands and I entrust them to the courier.  I track all parts of the trips that the papers take.  I thought I was being so careful.  Everything made it to the State Department and through certification fine, but today when my courier to the Chinese Consulate got my things she noticed that I had a copy of Mike's birth certificate but not the original.  I messed up because the first courier did not need this document, because it was certified in another state, but the second needed it for the authentication process at the Chinese Consulate.  Thank goodness she noticed before she goes tomorrow!  So I dropped everything and met her husband half way between their office and my house.  We don't want to be even one day late in this transaction because the Chinese Consulate will be closed for a week beginning October 1.  They take about 4 days to process so I needed them to go tomorrow!  Whew!

So I am guessing if my courier gets them back in 4 days that would be next Tuesday.  Then if she gets them in the mail overnight to me I will get them on Wednesday.  Then I can photocopy everything and send it to my agency to send to China.  Of course in China they will also be off for this Holiday, so I won't get a Log in Date until after the Holiday.  I will be so excited to get this part done.  Then no paper work for about 90 days, and then the mad rush begins again with about four more forms.  Sorry to bore you with all of the details, but I get asked a lot, what is happening.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

1800A APPROVAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The ball is in my court now!  We got the 1800A approval today!!  We got it back so much faster than I expected. So now I have to get it notarized.  Unfortunately I cannot find a notary until Monday.  Then I will fed ex it  along with all the other documents for our dossier to a courier in Sacramento for State Certification.  When I get that back I either drive to LA to the Chinese Consulate to  leave it all there for Authentication or I find another courier to avoid driving there with the girls, ugh!  Then I will have to go back to pick it up and then finally I can send my dossier to my agency to send to China.  At that time we have our DTC (Dossier to China Date) and wait for our LID (Log in Date).  Then the long wait for LOA (Letter of acceptance)  and then all of the new things required for the Hague Treaty are done.

 I like when the ball is in my court so I am in control!

 On another note, I got this from Ann of Red Thread showing the letter she sent to the Orphanage and a picture album we sent to Lily with her letter.  She said she would get it in two days.  So if the orphanage chooses to give it to her, she may now know that she has a family.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Soccer? or not

Last Saturday was our first soccer game.  For those of you that know us our older girls started playing soccer when Kami was six and Meghan was 5.  We played soccer all the way though High School and Kami played four years for UCSD and won two Division II Championships.  Mike and I both coached and played.  Mike became the  Head of both our local AYSO and eventually the head of the local "club" team.  We said that when we adopted we were never going back to play soccer and we hoped that our daughters would develop a love for the cello.

As you can see that  did not last long.  Here are Emma and Meilynn before their very first soccer game.

This is their game look!

The Soccer Banner,  I think someone is color blind.  We are the Pink Unicorns.  Do you think that those shirts are pink?

It looks like Emma is getting it, right?  Well this was before the game.

Well, this is what they really looked like in the game.  They stood next to each other and wouldn't do a thing.  And when Meilynn subbed out, Emma cried for her sister to come back.  And just when I thought that Emma might do something, she was running to the sideline to tell me that she needed a hug.  We will see how tomorrow goes.  Cello here we come!

A play-dough cake they made for Lily.  Emma cannot stop talking about her.  She packs little bags of toys that she is saving for Lily.  Today she asked me if when we went to China to get Lily, if we could also get a baby.

Lily's care package I am working on.  Nuts and chocolates for the care takers, tooth brushes for the older kids, stickers to share.  Crayons, pens, glow bracelets, a bunny to snuggle, hair things, some Hello Kitty treats a dress and a Dora press light.

I am really trying to start doing a letter a week.  This week is Dd week.  One of our activities was to form cookies out of cookie Dough.  Daddy also took them for donuts.

Silly Sisters!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Letter to Lily

I was able to copy this picture off the video we have.  We have sent a letter to Lily using Anne of Red Thread China.  We also sent her 10 pictures of us.  I had such a hard time trying to figure out how to start such a letter.  I asked for advice from my Yahoo Group Friends and they were all so helpful in giving me examples of their letters.  Here is what we wrote to her and her caretakers.

Dear Director and Nannies,
We are very excited to be adopting Yang Xiao Huan.  We look forward to bringing her home as soon as possible.  We would love to come right now, but as you know it takes time to complete the adoption paperwork.  We hope to be there sometime between March and June.  Of course if things go faster we will be there sooner.  We would appreciate it if you would read the following letter to Yang Xiao Huan and show her the photographs of our family.  Thank you for taking care of her.  We will always be grateful. 
Dear Xiaohuan,
We want to let you know how happy we are to be asking for you to become part of our family.  We live in California in the United States of America.  We have a large family.  You will have a Daddy, Mommy, two older sisters, (one who is married) and two younger sisters (who were also born in China.) 
Your little sisters ask about you every day and cannot wait to meet you..  We will love you, feed you, play with you, and take care of you forever.  We cannot come to get you until we do a lot of signing of papers, both for China and the USA.  We will come as soon as all of this is done.  We hope sometime before next summer.  We have seen your picture and think you are beautiful.  We are sending pictures of our family with this letter.  We hope you are well.  We know that the idea of leaving China may be scary, but we will do everything we can to make you feel comfortable with the change. 
We cannot wait to meet you and hold you.  We think about you every day.  When you look up at the moon at night, know that we are looking at the same moon and thinking of you.
Love Daddy and Mommy
My agency also will let us send packages through the facilitator in China, so I am getting that together to send to her also.  
I also received an e-mail from a family that is leaving this weekend to go to China to pick up their new daughter.  Their first daughter is from Lily's orphanage and they are requesting to visit.  Many orphanage visits have been put on hold due to the swine flu.  But if by some miracle they allow the visit they will try to see Lily and take pictures of her.
I am trying to decide if I should make a new blog for Lily.  The adoption website I used for Emma and Meilynn's adoption are no longer taking anymore new referrals.  So I can continue on this blog, make a new one just for her, or use another service.  I will let you know what I decide.  In the meantime pray for Lily and that she understands the letter and is happy for the news of a family.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Every call has a beginning…
A quiet moment when God whispers a promise to a mother’s heart
A holy place where a father bows and faithfully accepts the journey
set before him.
A miraculous morning that unexpectedly dawns…
Casting its first light on a chosen threshold.
A gentle knock… a closed door opens.
A sacred invitation sent by the Father…
Leads to the other side of the world.

Where lonely hearts stare out orphanage windows
Praying for someone to care.

And then one morning…
On an ordinary day
An orphan’s life changes…
God sends them a second chance…

Through you

The one thing that my daughter's referral pictures all have in common..............they all have that haunting look to their faces.  In all three referral pictures there are no smiles.  And the eyes, what they say to me.  Urging me to come as fast as possible.

 We have this picture and a video.  The video has her best friend that is being adopted also so I cannot share it.  If I can somehow figure out a way to edit that so only Lily is shown, I will.  In the video they are telling her to count and sing.  She does it, but I don't think she understands what is going on.

Introducing our sweet Lily living in the Guangdong Province, China.  She is six years old.  Her birthday in June 5, 2003.  We  are working on a middle name and then she will also have the name the orphanage gave her for a middle name.  She is not attending school yet.  Here is the information we got in June.
Yang Xiao Huan eats everything. She has 4 meals a day, 7am, 11am, 3pm and 7pm. She likes to eat rice, congee, steamed bread, apple. She has very good appetite. She takes nap from 12 tp 2pm. Then sleeps from 9pm to 7am. She is a very pure, active and lovely girl. She can talk so much, sing songs, put clothes on, count numbers. Her mental development is very well. She doesn't go to the day care yet. She can walk, run and jump very well. She has many good friends. She enjoy playing with other children. Now she is 106cm, 16kg, 53cm chest, 17cm foot, full mouth teeth  That is 41.7 inches tall and weighing in at 35.2 pounds.  
We would love to be able to hire a tutor for her so that she would not be so far behind when she gets home.  She has always lived at the orphanage and have found her in a few pictures throughout the years.  Emma and Meilynn know that we are going to adopt a little girl older than them and that it will be a long time.  We have told them that we hope to travel to China before Meilynn's 5th birthday in May.  They relate most things involving time to birthdays and holidays. 

Yang Xiao Huan, referral picture, May 2009
Meilynn Grace Shiyue, referral picture, Feb. 2007

Emma Sophia Mingjing, referral picture,  May 2006


Got It, Got It, Got It!

We have PA!!!!!!!! I am at Panera eating a bagel and I just got the news!  I will be able to show you her picture later!  Finally after 29 days we have it!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Kinda PA (Pre-Approval)

I e-mailed my agency last night because we have been waiting for our PA (Pre-approval) for over 20 days. The pre-approvals have only been taking about a week so I was starting to get concerned.  Well I got good news but not quite good enough for me to say that we got PA.

  What is PA?  It is one of the first very important steps to adopting.  We sent a letter to China asking to adopt Lily.  This is called our Letter of Intent or LOI.  In the letter, usually just one or two pages,  you tell China why you want to adopt and what you have to offer in the way of being a good parents for Lily.  We tell of our background and our experience with children.  We talk about the resources in our area that will be able to help her transition.  We tell them about the support we have from our family, friends and Church.  And most of all we tell that she has our commitment.  We promise not to abandon or abuse her.  And we promise that she will have the same rights as all of our other children.

It is a promise or a vow that we will back up with all of the paperwork we will send in our dossier when it is complete.  So the CCAA then gives you PA based on what you have told them.  Basically they are saying if what you say is true and you back it up then yes, you may adopt Lily.

This is the word I got from my agency when I called them last night.

Apparently the director from Department 2 has been gone for 2 weeks.  He is the guy who signs the PAs.  The PAs (including yours) has been approved for a long time - they are just waiting for him to sign it.  So - he is in catch up mode now and has been signing PAs all week.

The good news is that Lily said not to worry - your PA has been approved - it just needs to be signed.  I know you would rather see the real thing - but at least it is good news.


So you can see why I kinda have PA.  While I feel really good about hearing that nothing went wrong, I want that official word.  And then I can share the picture I have of her.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Emma's Birthday Trip to Disneyland

We took Meilynn to Disneyland for her birthday and bought season passes since we knew we would be returning for Emma's birthday. We decided to go on Monday so that it would not be as busy. The last time we went the girl's noticed that a lot of kids had on their princess costumes. And Emma loves to wear all of her princess things, so she decided that she would wear her Tinkerbell outfit from last Halloween. The problem with this was that Meilynn wanted to then wear her monkey outfit from Halloween. It was going to be way to hot to wear her Monkey outfit. I tried to convince her to wear one of the princess costumes we had, but no that little spicy girl refused. We started out with breakfast at I-Hop. The first clue that something was wrong should have been that Meilynn only wanted to lay in the booth and did not want to eat. We thought maybe that it was jealousy over Emma wearing her outfit or because it was her birthday, but no, just a few miles from Disneyland Meilynn complained of her throat hurting. I turned around to look and she was very pale. I said, "Are you o.k,?'
She said, " I think I am going to throw up." You never so me leap so fast. I lept over the middle seat all the way to the back and ripped a bag out of the port-o-potty we have in the back and then lept back over the seat to sit between the girls, just in time to catch the throw up. I am sure if someone was looking they got quite a show, and I was wearing a dress! So we pulled into a gas station and bought Kitty Boo Boo a little Sprite to settle her tummy. She was looking OK so we decided to proceed, but then it happened again. Now we are just blocks from Disneyland. We are now out of zip locks so we stop at a drugstore to buy more and to assess the situation. We are so close and to go back home is over an hour. I decide that we should get to Disneyland and find a nice shady spot for Meilynn and one of us and the other will take Emma on a few rides and then we will leave. We get there and she seems better. She starts to perk up and we decide to stay, but not late since it is their first day of school the next day. We went on to have a very nice relaxing day, knowing that with our season passes there is no reason to fit it all in, in one day. It was hot, but other than that we ended up having a really fun day. Meilynn with Tinkerbell Emma with Tinkerbell Waiting to see Tinkerbell, such anticipation With Fawn