Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Red Thread of Destiny

The Red Thread of Destiny

The Red Thread of Destiny is a belief that comes from an old Chinese legend. Also known as the red thread of fate or red string of fate, it means that people who are destined to meet are tied together with an invisible red thread.
Chinese Proverb:

An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet, regardless of time, place, or circumstances. The thread may stretch or tangle but will never break.

According to the Chinese myth, the gods tied an invisible red thread around the ankles of a man and a woman who were destined to meet and get married. The term is also very popular among families who adopt children from China. The saying is that when a baby is born, he or she is already connected to the important people in his or her life. The red thread becomes an important symbol during the adoption process and helps parents feel connected to the child they are waiting to adopt.

On my last post I mentioned that I did not know how to make a cute little mark on the province's that our daughters are from.  One of my April Panda/ Mei Dreamer/ June Jitterbuggers (The women and men that we waited what felt like so long for our referral of Emma)  the famous Diane, made me this after reading my blog.  Thank you so much Diane!

New Pictures of Jilliana!!!!!!!!

 Yes, there are new pictures of Jilliana and if you want to skip everything else you can just scroll down to the bottom and see our precious little cake eating girl.  Here is the final Fed Ex delivery announcement.  Our dossier made it to Guangzhou at 11:11 am on September 27.

 I thought I would put up a map to show you where our daughters adopted from China are from.  The funny thing is that they are all from different provinces, but they each border the province of each other.  Now if I knew how to put those cute little markers on here pointing them out I would.  So you will have to find the province.  If you look down in the south the "yellow" province Guangdong, that is where Lily is from. Then go North, the "blue" province, Hunan, is where Meilynn is from.  Go north-east, the "pink" province, Chongqing is where Emma is from, and then go North, the "blue" province Shaanxi, that is where Jilliana is from.  Looks like we are making a line right through the middle of China.

 Next, I just had to share this picture of Emma.  You can find her in the strangest places.  We do have a rule of no, walking or climbing on the furniture.  I guess we may have to add no laying on it either?  She cracks me up.  Maybe she is reliving the days when she slept in a crib with no mattress.
 Lily got mail!!!!  What is one of the most exciting things that can happen when you are seven?  Getting mail! And even better yet, from your swi sister Lyla.  Lyla sent Lily a photo book of the time they were together in Arkansas.  Lily was so happy to get it!  There was quite a bit of jealousy from the other sisters.  Lily immediately took it up to her room and put it under her bed where she keeps special things in a box.  Thank you Lyla!
 So excited!
 No these are not the updated pictures.  But one mom sent me these pictures.  Jilliana is the one in the back with the pink and purple on.  I could tell by her cute little ears.
 And why may you ask am I showing the care package again?  Because she is wearing the cute little hair things that Angela from sent Jilliana for me.  And here she is!!!!!!!!!!!

 Don't you just love the cakes they have in China?  She is wearing the hair things that we sent.  I think she has a little of a shocked look on her face.
 I was happy to see that their cribs have mattresses and blankets.  I do know someone that is in China adopting right now from Hope Haven and their daughter had scabies, so I better get that Eliminate cream.  I have never had to use it yet.  Look at the little ones in the background waiting for their cake.
 That is a pretty big piece of cake.  And look, she has those strawberry pants on again.  It looks like there are bowls of food on that cabinet, covered with the towel.
Eating cake is serious business!  I love the little socks and shoes.  She is starting to not look like a toddler any more and more like a pre-schooler.

Friday, September 24, 2010

DTC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!DOSSIER TO CHINA

What a day!  Today we were hoping to be DTC, but to be DTC all of the dots needed to be connected.
  1.  My Dossier had to make it to Washington.
  2. The papers from the courier in Sacramento had to be done and all accounted for.
  3.  The papers had to reach the next courier to the Chinese Consulate in Los Angeles
  4.  The papers then had to make it to Janell with Lifeline in Washington
  5.  She then had to make copies of the certifications and authentications that I did not get to copy since
       they did not come back to me.
  6.  I had to have all of the other documents that arrived there yesterday  ie, copies of passports, passport
       photo's, pictures of our house and family etc. etc.
  7.  Then she had to get it all back together after checking it all and send it to Guangzhou.

So when my delivery was on the truck to Washington I was glad that by 10:30 it would be there. The picture above shows it in route and on the truck to Spokane. I had paid extra for priority, next day before 10:30 to give Janell plenty of time to get it all done.  When it had not arrive by 11:00 I started worrying.  I called Fed Ex and Janell called Fed Ex.  They said they were swamped with overnight mailings.  By one I was really getting worried.  By 1:30 I was calling again and they told me it would be there by 2:00.
Finally at 1:38 I get the delivered message.  Whew!!!!!

Here is showing how it was routed.  It went from Irvine, to Tennessee, to Spokane.

Janell looked it over and put it all together and got it back to Fed Ex
And now you see it on its way to Guangzhou China to be delivered on September 27.  You know I will be tracking that!

Sorry for such a super boring post, but it is days like this that are all part of the story for Jilliana someday.

 A picture in May with her Nanny.
 She seems to always be eating cake
 A picture from a care package, probably in January
Our Precious Jilliana Elise

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Moving Forward

I think that only people adopting understand the stalking of the mailbox for any little bit of mail that shows you are moving forward.  And today we got a little closer with a letter from The Department of Homeland Security.  It is only a receipt letter, but it lets you know that your application got there and that it is moving forward to the next department.  The next piece we will be waiting for from them is an appointment letter to get our fingerprints done.  It seems so odd to get your fingerprints done so often, after all they don't change do they?  But, I guess they are checking to make sure that we have not committed a crime since the last fingerprinting a year ago.  The fingerprinting adds its own stress.  You hear about people that fail and have to retake and retake making them wait longer to get to their child.  You start obsessing about making sure that you put cream on your fingertips every night.  You start to use gloves when using bleach.  It is something that usually does not occupy my mind, but before fingerprinting my fingertips get a lot more thought and attention.  I remember getting super glue on one of my fingers a week before a printing and I freaked out.  

So the other day I told Mike that it fingerprinting will be coming up and to take extra care.  Well we were taking the beds apart to move to different rooms and Mike put the drill through his finger.  I don't mean all the way through, but he made a big hole and there was a lot of blood!!  Of course I was worried about him, but guess what I was more worried about.  You got it!  Messing up the fingerprints and putting us behind.  So I am expecting that letter for fingerprints soon but hoping his finger will have time to heal.  

Ok!  This one is a biggie!  This is part of my dossier being sent to Washington State.  If eveything works out perfect, the other half should arrive there tomorrow morning and then if it is done correctly my dossier will be making its way to China!!!  That is DTC (Dossier to China), Which is one of the big ones and then not long after should be an even bigger one LID (Log in Date).  What this means is that we will be in line then to get reviewed and approved to be Jillianan's parents.

I was really excited to get this little charm bracelet with all of my daughters names on it from Little Luv Letters.  I don't know how to put links but if you google it I am sure you would find it.  I know you cannot see it, but Kami's has a little crown, Meghan's a little cross, Lily's a little flower, Meilynn's a little heart, Emma's a little star, and Jillianan's a little ladybug.

The backpack we will give to Jilliana when we first meet her.

Jilliana's chair cover

The other night at the Back to School night I won this basket full of girls hair bows in a silent auction.  I just opened it an I was so happy to find so much more than it looked like.  there is a beautiful bow hanger, little hat with interchangeable bows, head band with interchangeable bows, three hairbands with flowers, and many, many bows.  With four little girls this was the perfect basket for us.

And finally another picture of our Jilliana

One of the ones where she is not smiling.  I am going to love putting bows in that hair.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A little of this and that

We are still here!  I have just been so busy!  With homeschooling Lily, getting the girls to school, and getting my dossier together.  And then all of the housework, and laundry, you all know what I am talking about.  Here is a picture that I snapped of Lily on one of the days when we were working on "skip counting", (I call it counting by two's,  but the math program we use calls it skip counting.  Lily was having a really hard time getting it, so we went outside and made a little game of it.  She had to jump to each square and say it with the number in it.  She had a major breakthrough when she actually got to "see" it.  She really enjoyed it when I did it!  She asked, "Mommy, why you so smart?"  Oh, these are days when it feels good and feels like progress is being made.  Slowly, yet still progress.  I think next time I will make two side by side and show her why we skip count.  She will jump on each square and i will jump on the 2, 4, 6, 8 and have a race.  Not only will she think I am smart, but she will think that I am fast!

We have begun preparations for our little Jilliana.  When Lily came home we did not know who would work at sleeping together.  All three girls wanted to sleep together.  At first we had bunk beds, but that meant that it was pretty hard to snuggle in bed.  Meilynn was up on the top bunk.  Snuggling with Mommy  while we pray and sing a song that each one chooses is the highlight of the day.  So even though the room was too small for three bed's side by side we did it.

With Jilliana coming we have decided to split the girls in two's.  Emma and Jilliana will sleep in one room and Lily and Meilynn in the other.  We have decided to go back to bunks in one room and to give Jilliana the Bunny Bed that a while back I just could not let go of and now I am glad I did not.  I didn't think to snap a picture until we had already started getting ready for the move.

This is my Aunt Claudia with Lily.  Lily has seen Emma and Meilynn's 100 wishes quilts and really wanted one.  This one is actually the  "cuddle" quilt that my Aunt made for Lily.  She worked really hard and it turned out beautiful.  The fabric around the edges is Michael Miller.  You cannot see it, but there are beautiful fairy's on this quilt.  Lily was so excited and shows it to everyone that comes over.  Thank you Aunt Claudia for such a labor of love.

This is a very special square.  It is made from a hankie of my Grandma Leta's who died before she even  knew that I would be starting a whole new family.  She is my Aunts mother and I loved spending time with her.  I am so glad that Lily will have something that was hers.

One very excited little girl!
We had back to school night for Emma and Meilynn.  Lily loved Clifford the big red dog.

Meilynn's self  portrait.  Rainbow is her favorite color.
Emma, our girly girl!

The girls are really into scrapbooking.  I just let them go at it.  I do not do anything at all.  They amaze me with how much time they will spend on this.

Here is the page Emma was working on today!

And I want to leave you with our newest daughter to be
Jilliana Elise
I have been working really hard and we may be DTC, dossier to China, on Friday.  Pray that all of my couriers connect and that my paperwork was done correctly.  I just may have the fastest DTC that my agency has had.  Tonight is the Moon Festival and we have the most beautiful moon tonight.  I hope that our little one is joining in the celebration of the Moon.  Don't you just love the way they have dressed her?

Friday, September 17, 2010

Another Picture of Jilliana Elise

Jilliana Elise Jihong  
August 2010

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A new little piece to Jilliana's story

The blogging, yahoo group, forums, internet, are amazing.  The other day I got an e-mail from someone telling me they had a little piece of Jilliana's story to share with us.  A friend of hers told her that she had seen the picture I put on of Jilliana's with the Year of the Ox horns.

  She knew that her friend had tried to adopt Jilliana after she was placed back on the shared list after the disruption.  The family had seen Jilliana on the shared list and tried to get a waiver to adopt her.  They did not know of the disruption or the hearing loss but they still would have adopted her if it had been possible.  They were denied the waiver and were crushed.  They are now in the process of adopting another beautiful girl from China.

Here is the amazing part.  If we had seen Jilliana's file back in May we would not have been able to adopt her.  With our agency you need to be home 6 months and that date for us was in August.  We were sent Jilliana's file August 3rd.  Also, we were not even thinking at that point of adopting any more.  Everything about this adoption has pointed to God and his plan and our willingness (at times) to listen.  So when this family could not adopt her the file went back on the shared list.  I now know of two other families that also looked at her file before we were sent her file by Amy (The Advocate) but God chose us to be her family.  Now that pieces are starting to be filled in I will need to go back and rewrite the story that I posted before.  I think that someday Jilliana will want to know about how many people wanted her and cared for her before she was even here.

Yesterday I got 4 new pictures of Jilliana.  I am truly blessed to have them and they are what keep me going at moving along as fast as possible.  Yesterday our papers were certified in Sacramento and today they are reaching my courier who will take them to the Chinese Consulate in Los Angeles.  (I did all of this myself on Emma's adoption and on Meilynn's the agency did it all, but now with my time limited I have had to hire couriers.)  We should get them back by next Friday.  At the same time my 1800 a supplement 3 has reached the lock box in Texas and hopefully I will have a receipt letter in a week and then we will be awaiting fingerprint appointments.

I believe this is the bear they reference in the update that I posted about a few days ago.  Looks like we will need to find a cute little Winnie the Pooh. I love how she is holding it so lovingly. Look at all of those toys.  And isn't her hair so cute?  

This is the one I posted last night, but didn't have time to write about.  She looks like a happy and healthy little thing.  I have three more, but I will post later.  I have to go pick up the girls!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I just got new updated pictures! Can you believe it?

Jilliana Elise Jihong
2 years 10 months old

Monday, September 13, 2010

Not Devil Horns, but Year of the Ox!

First of all one of my friends that commented on my blog suggested that these might not be devil horns but maybe oxen horns for "The Year of The Ox".  Well I looked up when the year of the Ox was and it was in 2009.  Jilliana would have been 14 months when The Year of The Ox was last celebrated and I believe that this picture is around that age.  So the mystery of the devil horns is solved! Thanks Shelnel!  I think she looks really cute in her Oxen Horns!

Tomorrow we are finally going to get our homestudy update back!  Tomorrow I will send one copy off to the USCIS along with our supplement 3 to extend our previous I800A that we used with Lily.  At the same time I will send another copy, overnighted to my courier in Sacramento.  She will then get the whole dossier certified and send it off to my courier to the Chinese Consulate in Los Angeles.  When she gets it back, she will overnight it to me and then I will overnight it to Lifeline, so they can send it to China.  Then we will be officially DTC.  I am hoping to have this accomplished the week of September 27th if all goes well.

I just have to keep looking at her photo to know that all of the paperchase will eventually get us to her.  I feel so lucky to have so many pictures of Jilliana.

This last week we sent a small care package to Jilliana.  Our experience with care packages is that most often our children never received what we sent, except for the pictures of our family.  It can also cause problems in the orphanage, when some kids get them and some don't, so we are trying to keep them low key.  This package has pictures of our family found in the little pink  album and books (I thought these could be shared) a camera for hopefully taking pictures, a letter to the nannies and some hair things, since she loves pretty things for her hair.  We also sent a cake in the hopes to get more pictures.  I also was not sure how the orphanage would take this since I know the previous family sent many care packages and then they did not bring Jilliana home.  Maybe the orphanage would feel that this would not be in her best interest after what happened to her before.  I do know that it was a traumatic thing that happened to her.

This was taken in May.  Isn't she just the sweetest thing.

The other girls are happy to see that she loves to draw.  The girls are so excited about her.  They are including her in almost all of their conversations.  They talk about when Jilliana is here.

Emma wore this dress to Church on Sunday and when she got home she ran upstairs to put the white shirt underneath and add the red shoes.  She loves to be Dorothy!
Reading her Bible Story book.
Lily and Meilynn helping Daddy wash the car.
Not sure about Lily's technique, but they had fun!
On Saturday soccer started.  Emma scored two goals and was just a little tornado on the field.  Quite different from last year when she just stood in the middle the whole season.
Lily's first day of soccer.  She had a great time and is learning the game.
Dressed for school (homeschool)
Emma and Meilynn were supposed to wear their favorite color.  Can you tell what Emma's is?
How about Meilynn?
More wildlife at our house.  This is the second hummingbird we have had fly in and not be able to get out.  It is so sad to see them trying to get out the window.  Mike finally got it out.
Here he is getting the little bird out.  He had to use a little net the girls had for catching butterflies taped on the end of the lightbulb changer.