Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Where my little Faith is

Here is a basic description of Faith's orphanage :
SWI Description: The orphanage has been located in three buildings. From 1992 to 1998 the facility was on the second floor of the Jimin ("Helping People") Hospital. From 1998 to November 2000, the orphanage was located in the first dedicated orphanage facility. The current facility, completed in November 2000, is situated just over the river from Wuchuan, has a great view of the river and the city beyond to the west. It is a large three-sided facility, sharing room with an old folks' home.

Misc. Information:
Director:Director Liu Chun Xia was the assistant director until November 2000 (she started with the orphanage in 1997), when the current facility was completed. The old director was promoted, and she took her place.

Adoption Stats:

2000 -- 80
2001 -- 183
2002 -- 212
2003 -- 267
2004 -- 0
2005 -- 20
2006 -- 32
2007 -- 26
On this last map look at the yellow cities and you will see Faith's city, Zhanjiang City. The other yellow city, Guangzhou is where we will be staying in China for 2 weeks.
OK, now when can we get on that plane?!?!?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I love you too!

Oh how I love all the kisses and hugs and I love yous that I have been getting these days from my little one :) She is amused by giving kisses on the lips all of a sudden. I used to be able to only kiss her on her cheek and she would only return a kiss to my cheek. We are finally past that though as I get kisses quite often right on the lips! (CJ isn't quite there yet but when he does he will be in daddy heaven ;) Here is just a sample of what I am blessed with:

This is us in W@lmart just hanging out and I would say I love you, to which I would get back a cute as pie..."I WUV U TOO!" Man, I love being a mom!!


video

Saturday, July 26, 2008

President not a Princess

I received a reality check tonight regarding fairy tales. You know the one where you finally have a little girl and you get to share the magic of Disney with her. You spend $21 on purchasing the one and only classic of Cinderella on DVD. You dream of the twinkle in her eye when she lays eyes on the beautiful princess. You sense your daughter's excitement when Prince Charming swoops in and rescues her from the mean step mother. You both smile with joy as they journey off into the sunset together living happily ever after...YEAH RIGHT!

First of all, I had to convince her that purchasing the DVD was a much better idea than getting boring Caillou (no dice-had to at least rent Caillou). Then after she watched the goofy Caillou movie about 5 times in a row, I finally talked her in to putting in the brand new never opened magical Cinderella DVD. I then had to fast forward through all the previews as she was really wanting to watch Caillou again and she said "This not Inderelllllla!". No, wait my darling here she comes. BAM, finally Cinderella on the big screen for Shelby's first magical viewing...

Can you say MELTDOWN?!?!?! She got one good look at the wicked step mom and lost it. I kept asking her what was the deal and she said she didn't like it, don't like it. So after much discussion, we both agreed that was a mean lady on the screen (careful not to say a mean mom cause you know moms can't be mean;). So yes, now she refers to Cinderella as the "Mean Lady Movie"-just great!

I learned my lesson today that fairy tales can sometimes be just that-fairy tales. Looks like my little one must be destined to be the President instead of a Princess!

Imagine your child using this

This is the only bathroom the kids have to use in this orphanage. I am pretty sure this is where our own First Friday team is going in China to build the kids a new bathroom with running water! Just skip Starbucks for a couple of days and at least send in your $10 tax deductible donation.


Please if you have a heart for the orphans in China, please click here to go to Annabelle's Wish blog. They are a non-profit whose mission is to serve China's orphans. They are trying to raise money to help put a new bathroom in the Shizong orphanage. The "facilities" they have now are horrendous. Please go to the Annabelle's Wish blog to donate!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Straight Adventures

Catching up on some of my pictures over the last 2 weeks. There are a few here of my birthday dinner at of course The Melting Pot-YUM! Then we have some of the famous train ride at my dad's house. As you can see he has added a new "bike ride" on the end. His inventions never cease to amaze me :) Oh and by the way, the famous train ride is going to be visiting my house for Shelby's upcoming birthday party, so you don't want to miss it!

Then you have some pictures of us visiting Sheridan and his wonderful know-it-all-full-of-resources-dad. Sheridan and Shelby sure have come along way in their playing together skills since they have been home. No one was even injured on this playdate ;)

There are 2 pics of Shelby and her wonderful speech therapist, Mrs. Connie. Mrs. Connie has really helped Shelby find some new sounds and she really gets her to working her new palate. Just this week, Shelby has found her Ps and they are strong and Shelby doesn't even have to think about how to do them when they are at the end of a word! That may not sound like much, but trust me as that is a major breakthrough for Shelby in learning how to use her lips along with her new palate to make a new sound.

And finally some random dress up pics from home and a few from our Chuck E. Cheese adventures last night. Man, we sure are a blessed and fun family!!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

LID BABY!

Today has been a WONDERFUL day! First off I received our official LID (logged in date) from China and it is 7-23-08. Then to top that news, I received an amazing update from Angela who offers a great service to all of us adopting parents. Here is the information she sent to me:

1. What is her nickname or what do they call her?
We call her Zhen Zhen.

2. Is she in foster care?
No.

3. Can she walk or crawl or bear weight on her legs yet?
She can’t crawl yet.

4. What is her current health status (is she weak, sickly, healthy)?
She is healthy.

5. What is her personality like?
She is quiet. She is a smart girl.

6. What does she eat other than a bottle?
She eats Nestle formula. She gets up at 6:30am, Nap 12:00pm-2:00pm; Go to bed at 9:00pm.

7. How would you best describe her?
She is a chubby girl, and she is funny. She likes to play with her nannies.

8. Can you feel a buzz or vibration in her chest/heart when holding her?
No.

9. Her updated measurements:
Height: 69cm; Weight: 8kg; Head: 44cm; Foot:11.5cm; Teeth: 0

10. she had heart surgery at Tian Jin Tai Da angiocardiopathy hospital. She was in the hospital since April 26, 2008 until May 20, 2008. She is doing great.

Four pictures attached. She is SO BEAUTIFUL!!!!

Many blessings,
Angela


So according to this report, Faith has already had her heart surgery completed-YEAH! Of course I am sad that she had to go through the surgery in China without us there to take care of her; however, the sooner the surgery the better she feels and the less damage done to her heart and lungs. So with that we are hopeful that the surgery was a complete success and are thrilled to have new updated information about her. She looks great in the pictures like a perfect healthy baby Faith!! Is it time to go get her yet?!?!?!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

More about Faith

Thank you to everyone for all the well wishes you've sent about our newest addition. We are very excited to know that soon we will be a family of 6-whew! And yes, this is my last and final child. Two boys and two girls makes us complete :) Well I am sure you all want to know more about our baby Faith, so here goes:

She is currently in an orphanage in South China in the Guangdong Province. The map shows where she is (just pretend that the Sofie says Faith). This means that we will only have to be in one spot the whole 2 weeks to complete the adoption. We will be staying in Guangzhou in the Victory Hotel which is where we were our last week of Shelby's adoption. This is comforting to us as we have been there-done that at least as far as the travel part goes.

Now the big difference will be that Faith has spent her whole life in an orphanage unlike Shelby who was in foster care. So we do know that we should expect some major differences when it comes to behaviors and even physical appearances. Faith may be smaller and act younger than her real age. We are thinking she will be about a 12 month old in terms of behavioral aspects. She probably will not even be walking yet when we get her. Needless to say we are getting a "baby" this go around, not a toddler. Let the fun begin!

Faith is considered a "waiting child" from China. She is what some call a "heart baby". This means that she has congenital heart disease. She has a large perimembranous ventricular septal defect and a moderately large secundum atrial septal defect. So in normal terms she has VSD and ASD and she will more than likely require surgery when she gets home. You can click on those links and learn more about her conditions. Basically she has a hole in the top and bottom parts of her heart. I know that sounds scary, and yes it is scary! However, I believe that with the proper care and the modern medicine we have available, she will recover just fine.

She is growing at a steady rate so hopefully her heart will continue to do OK until we can get her home. I have had her medicals reviewed by several doctors and they all believe that she will do well once she has had her heart surgery. To quote one of them, "The prognosis for a VSD is quite good. I believe that most children with common types of VSDs who are diagnosed and treated appropriately can expect to live normal lives."

Baby Faith is currently 15 pounds and about 28 inches tall. To give some perspective, Shelby is only 23 pounds and 36 inches tall. Remember that the girls are 22 months apart in age! So Faith may soon catch up with her big sister soon. I am currently trying to get some new updated photos from China. Unfortunately, I can't post them on the internet. So if you want to take a peek at Faith then you need to come to First Friday next week where I will be showing them off to anyone who wants to see them (or really anyone who walks by whether or not they care to see her or not ;) Please pray for our little Faith as she is on the other side of the world without her mommy and daddy.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

You've gotta have Faith

As most of you already know, there are no guarantees with international adoption. You have to have a lot of faith to take on an international adoption. You must have faith in the process, faith in your agency, and most importantly-faith in God! All of this faith is built up in believing that the right child-YOUR child- will eventually find their way home to your family.

This second adoption journey has definitely tested our faith in all of these areas. However, our faith has grown, our faith has strengthened, and our faith is continuing to carry us through. So without further delay, it is my pleasure to announce the referral of our newest addition to the Straight family:

Miss Faith Leeann Straight!

We are very excited and honored to be lucky enough to have been blessed with another little girl from China. She is only 12 months old right now and waiting for us in the Guangdong Province. We hope to have her home just in time for Christmas!! We are so very blessed :)

Saturday, July 19, 2008

To good not to post

Stole this from another blog, but I LOVE IT-so had to post it!

Quote for the Day:

Live your life in such a way that when your feet hit the floor in the morning, Satan shudders and says...'Oh crap...she's awake!!'

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Dossier To China Today-yeah!

You have no idea how excited I am to write this post today-DTC BABY!

ImageChef.com - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Almost there

I received my authenticated homestudy back just as promised today from Houston by Cindy Marut at www.mychinadocs.com. She provides a great service for expediting your docs. This was my last and final doc for my completed dossier! Yeah-my agency is putting everything together and hopefully I will be DTC tomorrow. The last 30 days have been an absolutely CRAZY roller coaster ride for me. I am so glad to be getting off this ride soon :)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Birthday Wishes

Yesterday was my birthday and I received one of the best presents ever! (more to come on that later) But today happens to be the birthday of a VERY special little girl in China!! Birthday wishes and dreams are coming true all around me :)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Home again

Well we made it home safe and sound. Shelby was actually thrilled to be home again. Although she had a great time on vacation, she was getting home sick. Makes you wonder what her little head was thinking as if we had officially moved from home into the camper or something. About Wednesday every time we would get in the truck, she would request to go home. Considering what her life has consisted of, one can understand why she would be concerned about going home again. Needless to say she is happy to be HOME again. We had a normal day today going to church and getting back to normal things. We are getting back to the real world tomorrow which also means that I will have to start facing our new reality and how to move forward.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Chinese by Birth...

Southern by the grace of God! Yes, my little angel was fully immersed in good ole southern fun at the Dixie Stampede last night. She loved every minute of it. Her eyes never left the arena full of horses and princesses except of course to chow down some good southern cookin. She was so cute watching the show. I couldn't help but get all weepy eyed just watching her excitement during the show. We have been so blessed by having this little girl in our lives. She is truly a gift from directly from heaven :)

I just love having a little girl in our family. I never thought that this could be so much fun. She is so different from the boys. I know that makes sense since she is a GIRL after all, but I just never really thought about how different little girls really are than little boys. She automatically gravitates to the "girl" stuff. I still find in amusing! She loves horses, jewelry, and babies. She is even very picky in choosing her souvenirs and chooses based on color and if it is pretty or not. The boys usually choose based on how gross or how loud something is :) She chooses her clothes based on color and the twirl factor, and the boys choose based on the easiest to put on! Oh how different girls and boys really are. Oh how blessed I am to have both in my life!!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Let's go swimming


We had a busy day today full of beach time and swimming at each pool here at the campground. There is alot to do especially when you have 3 kids around!
The boys caught a big crab and said we are taking it over to the neighbors to have a CRAB FIGHT?!?! What?! You can really tell my kids are rednecks, I guess their were no chickens around for a good fight, so they are making the best of it ;)

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Moving forward




We are enjoying our vacation here at Myrtle Beach. Unfortunately, the internet service here is pathetic. However, I am here with my whole family including my mom and my sister and her whole family. The kids are having a blast. Life is moving forward.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Reality of life in China

If you want a sobering look at the fate of some of the babies in China read this blog and how this family has been forever changed during their trip to China to pick up their son.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Things have Changed

Sadly our little Malia will not be coming home with us. God had different plans for her life. For those of you who know us personally, then please respect our privacy in this matter. I say this not to be rude but to protect the ones who still wait. Thank you for your prayers for our family and for the prayers of all the children who wait for their mommy and daddy!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

A Stronger Thread

Yes, that little red thread sure is a tough one! Remember this old Chinese Proverb:
Well, it has proven itself once again in my life. Check out this amazing new chapter in my life...I have a brother. Yes, you read that correctly. Once again adoption has touched my life in ways that I never expected. Here is the brief shortened story for those of you who don't know what I am talking about:

My mother gave birth to a son years ago when she was very young and unable to care for a baby. She made a birth plan for this son and he was placed for adoption. I have always known about him, but up until now I wasn't too sure about what to do with that knowledge. Well since I have been immersed in adoption education classes and such since Shelby's arrival, I learned a great deal about adoptees and their birth parents. I soon realized how important it was for my brother to know about me and to know about his birth mom. I always knew that my mother had a hole in her heart longing to know that her son was OK and happy. So learning all of these facts, I put my resources to use!

I found out at one of the 3rd Friday group sessions about how the Georgia Reunion Registry service worked. Thanks to Denise that I met at the group, she told me how to pursue the search for my brother. Well about 3 months later, I received a phone call telling me that they had located my brother and he was alive and well! What an emotional day that was a couple of weeks ago. My mother was estatic to say the least. So since then I have been getting to know my brother through emails and pictures and such. I even received a phone call from him yesterday-yeah :)
Now here is the real freaky part about this reunion and it brings me even closer to explaining the red thread connections. He is married to a Chinese woman and together they have one of the cutest little Chinese boys I have seen! I couldn't help but just laugh at the fact that my girls now have a Chinese aunt and a Chinese first cousin. This was just so amazing to me yesterday when I received the pictures. So here you go, I would like to introduce you to my brother and his family...

So do you think we look alike:

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

PA! Pre-Approval has Arrived

Just received the official Pre-Approval Letter from our agency! Pretty neat looking back last year when we received Shelby's PA. This is just pre-approval, so now we will wait for our official Letter Seeking Confirmation (Letter of Approval LOA). That will be the final letter stating that they have reviewed our complete dossier file and we are completely approved to adopt her. We are hoping to receive that letter in about 3 months AFTER we send in our paperwork. Again my paperwork is going to have to make it to China before July 25!!


Here is what the Pre-Aproval states: "The application of C and D Straight for adoption of Malia from Shaanxi province that you submitted was received. It is hereby advised that with a review of the basic family situation and the Rehabilitation and Nurture Plan for the Child made by the family, The China Centre of Adoption Affaris agrees to handle and process the case as an adoption of a special-need shild after the application file arrives (dealine October 01, 2008, that day inclusive). China Center of Adoption Affairs"

I am so excited to receive something from China that officially states she will be ours providing that we meet all their rules and regulations. WOOHOO-we are yet another step closer to our daughter. I am still waiting to find out if we can post her picture yet. Stay tuned...