Saturday, November 29, 2008

A Little Harder This Year

Here is a glimpse into why packing seems to be a little harder this year and taking a bit longer ;)

Counting Down

Only FOUR more sleeps until we board the plane! Oh my goodness I have alot to do before I get to squeeze these chubby cheeks :)

Friday, November 28, 2008

Official Itinerary

Here is our itinerary for our trip from my agency. I have asked to add some stuff on here considering that we want to see as much as China as possible especially since this is our last adoption trip! I will see what they say. With 4 kids in tow, I hope to stay busy. Even if Faith doesn't "want" to go out and about, I am sure CJ or I will be able to stay behind with her in the hotel since my sister can help out on the outings. If any of you experienced traveler's would like to recommend an outing to add to the list of things we should do, please let me know!

Dec 4 (Thu) - Jophy will meet you at the HK airport and escort you to your hotel.
Dec 5 (Fri) - Rest in the morning. You will have a city tour in the afternoon and evening.
Dec 6 (Sat) - Go to Disneyland
Dec 7 (Sun) - Free in the morning. We go to Guangzhou in the afternoon. The train to be confirmed later.
Dec 8 (Mon) - You will pick up your daughter and prepare the necessary adoption documents,take family picture. Then arrange to go to a big supermarket to buy some daily stuff.
Dec 9 (Tue) - do adoption registration and Notarization, etc.
Dec 10 (Wed) - go to Security Dept for the child's passport.
Dec 11 (Thu) - Visit the Wuchuan orphanage.
Dec 12 (Fri): Free.
Dec 13 (Sat): Sightseeing at the Baiyun Mountain Park.
Dec 14 (Sun): Sightseeing in the Guangxiao Temple & Chen Clan Academy.
Dec 15 (Mon): Your daughter has a physical examination & vaccination shots if necessary and then one parents does USCIS paperwork to get ready for your CA.
Dec 16 (Tue): You will be free. Grace will go to get your daughter's passport and notary certificate.
Dec 17 (Wed) : Your Consulate Appointment at 9am.
Dec 18 (Thu): Go to the Consulate for oath swearing ceremony and get your daughter's visa in the afternoon.
Dec 19 (Fri): - Go home in the morning from Guangzhou to ATL

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to all of my bloggy friends today. I hope you had a wonderful day filled with family and friends. I know we did! We have SO much to be thankful for in this country. I can't help but think of all the things we have and take for granted as I make out my "shopping lists" for 5AM shopping tomorrow morning. Things here are SO different than life in China. We are so very blessed. Praying my littlest one received a hug from someone today and a full belly.

"Give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations." Psalm 100: 4-5

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Last Working Day of 08'

Today was busy busy busy at work! It was my last day of work until around mid January. I wrapped up some of the training and loose ends. I am sure they will be fine as this is my FOURTH maternity leave. I am so lucky to have such a great employer who understands how important family is :)

I also met with my agency today and received all the final paperwork we need to take on our trip. I am still waiting for our final itinerary though. I hope to have that on Friday. I can't wait to have all the "planning" done and settled. Looking forward to seeing the set schedule in stone. I will post when I have it. Won't be long now baby girl!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

New Pictures

Look what I just got courtesy of Lady Bugs N Love. They run an AWESOME service that has truly been a blessing to me on this adoption journey to our baby girl. Look how much she has grown over the last couple of months. And she has hair!! She looks so healthy :)

I am thrilled to be getting on a plane next week to get her and finally put a smile on those sweet chubby cheeks!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Family Pic Changing Soon

I just had to share Travis' picture he drew of our family the other day at school. I told him it won't be long and he will need to add another sister to the drawing. He said "OK"!

Busy making my lists today and checking them twice ;)

Amazing Video

Here is a video that circulated a while back. However, watching it again it was still just as POWERFUL to watch as it was the first time. Take 5 minutes to watch the whole thing!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Santa Claus is coming...

to town! I know some of you may think it is a little early, but our "commercialized" Christmas season will be cut a little short this year. We have a small trip to China in between :) So look what we did today:

Oh and here is the picture of our digit friends from last year. What a fun day shared with friends :)

Friday, November 21, 2008


WOOHOO! Finally we have confirmed CA appointment and we are cleared for take-off! We are headed to get our baby girl :0)

We will have her in our arms on Monday, December 8!! We will leave for Hong Kong out of ATL on December 3. We will be returning home to ATL on December 19th. I am so darn excited I can hardly stand it!!
Hmmm....only 3 more day of work, I guess I better get busy ;)

Waiting Impatiently

We did not get our CA (Consulate Appointment) confirmed yesterday. And I haven't heard anything from my agency today-UGHHHGGHHHH! Can't book tickets until I have CA-sigh.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Move A Mountain

Well as I said below, yesterday was a CRAZY day. Here is how my day began. I opened a email from my adoption agency that said this:

"HOPE for Children, Inc. has seen a dramatic drop in the number of families willing to adopt during these difficult times. Due to these extremely challenging financial times, HOPE for Children Inc. has concluded that we cannot continue to operate."

So did your jaw drop like mine?! Yeah exactly. So you ask like what? Well, I of course was in complete panic and shock all at the same time. I hopped in my car and went to the agency. Knocked on the doors and...nothing. No one answered.
I went back to my car and I was devastated. I knew that my TA should arrive anyday and what in the world would happen if DHL sent the package back to China since nobody was there to receive it?? Needless to say all I knew to do was sit in my car in desperation and pray.

Before leaving the parking lot, I thought well I will just try to call again to just leave a message on the answering machine. Low and behold...Aisha (my agency contact) answered the phone!! I was stunned and absolutely estatic that she was on the other end of my cell phone. We discussed how crazy this was and how sorry I was to hear the info, etc etc.
Then she finally said, "Well you know you got your TA today, don't you?". What?!? No I didn't know that how would I know that?! Needless to say, my saving grace, Aisha came into the office that morning and was able to receive my TA from China!

Now considering the timing and that basically the TA is the absolute last thing I needed to complete this, I have been assured that they (Hope for Children) will see me through to China and back to bring home our baby girl Faith. If I had not received TA yesterday, I would have had to "transfer" my file to another agency and who knows when I would have been able to get my girl.

So back to my title of the day...Mountains were moved yesterday by our one and only Savior! As you can see by this chart that was posted yesterday after all the TAs came in, it was a miracle that mine showed up yesterday. On this chart, I am listed as "Mom23now". Obviously I am very very blessed!
“For this child I prayed,and the Lord has granted me what I asked of Him.”~I Samuel 1:2

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Look Who's Going to China!

Oh yeah Baby!! We officially have TA!!! This means we have Travel Approval from China telling us we can come get our sweet baby girl :)

Hoping to book our tickets tomorrow once we get our CA (Consulate Appointment) approved. Today has been one heck of a day and I will have to post the details tomorrow when I get time. But for now, I plan to start celebrating!!!

OH and just for the record, Shelby pointed out a ladybug INSIDE my van this morning crawling up the window beside her. I thought she was saying "Race car mommy race car" and finally I said where. She was saying "Ladybug mommy Ladybug". I looked back to see the ladybug inside the van on the window. Talk about a sign!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Ode to RED

I feel it is really important to document some of the important stuff on the blog so that we will always have the memories recorded. Looking over the blog, I see I have never paid tribute to the one and only...RED! Now any of you who have spent anytime with Shelby, knows who RED is. You know that you you better not ever lose RED, misplace RED, damage RED, or any way harm RED. No one ever wants to think what would happen-without RED?!?!

Needless to say I did not have any trouble putting together a collage of Shelby and RED. You will notice everywhere Shelby does RED. Please keep RED in your thoughts and prayers while we are in China. We can NOT lose RED in China!!
I think I will staple a hotel business card onto RED while we are there. Hey if someone can find my wallet and mail it back to the hotel, surely they would return RED :)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Still Waiting...

Do any of you have any idea how HARD this waiting is?!?! This is crazy, my head is about to explode. I just want to know if I get to go to China in 2 weeks or what?!?! Come on TA!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Last Single Digit Bday

Happy happy birthday to my oldest baby today! Caleb turns 9 years old today. Where o where has my little boy gone?!?!

Oh what a joy it has been to parent such a special little boy. He is truly a delightful kid. And I'm not even being bias, he REALLY is a wonderful boy-ask anyone :)

Happy Birthday HotRod! I hope you have a special day!!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Perfect :)

Pyzam Family Sticker Toy

Get your own Family Sticker Maker & MySpace Layouts.

Week through pictures

Well it has been a while since I posted pics of my crew. So here you go for your viewing pleasure... This collage is made up of pics from the Adoption Option meeting that we hosted last Friday. I forgot to whip out the camera until the meeting was really over. Oh well, you can still see a few of the guests. We had a terrific time and had a great topic: Travel! I even picked up a few tips from others. I think it was a very good meeting.

Last Sunday, the boys had a real treat from our friend Mike. He took the kids up in his helicopter for a trip around Woodstock. Oh what fun! The boys had a great time and Shelby decided it was much too loud, so she stayed in the van with mommy :)

Oh and then here are some random pics of cuteness!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Ordered Cake

I ordered a "celebration" cake yesterday for Faith from Lady Bugs N Love. I am hoping that we will be able to get some new pictures of our little one. I realize that Faith has probably never been fed solid food, but I can't think of anything better than sugar and frosting for her first taste :) So maybe I will hear back early next week if she got the cake and if they are sending me the new pictures.

Only 3 weeks until we HOPEFULLY get on a plane to get our girl. Keep praying for TA to arrive soon!! Have I told you how absolutely adorable my littlest one is lately??!?!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

More Checks off the List

Let's see what have I accomplished today so far:
  • Called our doctor and got the prescriptions for Z-Packs and Cipro for adults
  • Contacted pediatrician for antibiotics for all 3 kids, plus eye drops and Nystatin for Faith
  • Already have scabies and lice meds unused from last year
  • Emailed my bank about ordering "new" money
  • Left message to make appointment at Sibley Heart Center
  • Trying to get final cleft team appointment for Shelby for the year (no need in wasting up a paid in full deductible)
  • Ordered No-Jet Lag Meds and Melatonin for the kids from
  • Had lunch with my sister to discuss our trip
  • Oh and I have managed to squeeze in some real work to keep making a living :)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Received second to last approval

We received our final piece of approval from the US side of the adoption to go get Faith. It was the approval of the I-800 form that I applied for when we received our LOA on 10/31. This was the final part of the new Hague requirements that the US implemented this year. Needless to say we are done on the US side, so now we just sit a wait for China to send TA (Travel Approval)! So here is the specific prayer request-we need TA to arrive before 4PM on the 21st. This is what we need in order to book CA, which then will allow us to book our flights for leaving Atlanta on December 3rd. Yes that is only 3 weeks away!! We are so close to our baby girl that I am almost getting nervous ;)

Friday, November 7, 2008

Hosting AO meeting tonight

I get the privilege of hosting this month's Adoption Option meeting tonight at my house! I am looking forward to seeing everyone. I really love seeing all the great kids that have finally come home. Adoption truly is a miracle. When you see these kids and how each one seems to "fit perfectly" into their families, you really understand that God is so in control.

We are planning to discuss travel issues, just in time for my upcoming travel. Can you tell that the host gets to pick the topic?! I am sure we are going to have a great evening. If you are interested in coming and are in the Atlanta area, please join this Yahoo Group for more information.

Speaking of support groups. Click here to see the most "famous" post on my blog to date. This was my cry for help post when I was in China last year. I had over 50 comments that were truly my lifeline of support while on the other side of the world. The adoption community (and of course my family and friends) really showed up when I needed them the most. THANK YOU!

PS-If you weren't around then and you read that post and wonder what decision we made, here are the pictures of the best decision we ever made in China...

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

All About Faith

This post is mainly for my Rumor Queen friends to introduce to you our newest addition:

Miss Faith Leeann ChunZhen

She was born on July 15, 2007 and is currently residing in the Guangdong Province at the Wuchuan SWI. She was on the shared waiting child list and has a repaired VSD, ASD, and PDA. So she is what some would call a "heart baby". She certainly has stolen my heart and we hope to travel for her next month!

Gotcha! 1st Anniversary

Today is the 1st of many Gotcha and Forever Family Day celebrations! You can see the actual Gotcha Day post here if you want to visit memory lane.
What an amazing year it has been with our little girl. Our family has had a wonderful year as a family of 5. Of course we have had our ups and downs, but I must say that there have been many more ups than downs.
Shelby came to us as a frightened terrified toddler. She has now become a confident, spunky, full-of-live little girl :) Here are some pics taken over the last year. You can see for yourself how she has blossomed.
Shelby is truly a perfect fit into our family. We are so very blessed to be HER family!!
"I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of Him." - I Samuel 1:27

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Halloween Recap

I know you guys have just been dying to see some of our Halloween pics. Sorry they took so long to post. As you can see Halloween started off with "Crazy Hair Day" at school. Then we went out trick or treating that night of course. We continued with our crazy hair into the next day for Frannie's birthday party.

We had a great time seeing all of our digit friends at the party. I think it is amazing that all 4 of us who traveled last year to get our girls, are ALL going back again soon to bring home more little ones! I am happy to say that I will be the first to go this time around...hopefully very soon ;)

PS: Here is the post from this day last year. We were only hours away from our Shelby baby!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Praying for my little one

Here is just a small excerpt from a letter written from an adoptive mom.. You can read the complete letter here if you would like. It touches on the MANY reasons I am in "such a hurry" to get to my little girl still in China.

I know that like many adoptive parents I too believed what I wanted to believe. I wanted to believe that her beginning was one of the “good ones”. That her orphanage cared. That her orphanage was a good place. If adoptive parents don’t believe this, then how can most of us deal with the image of our daughter in “that place”? There’s only so much a human heart can take. But my daughter’s orphanage wasn’t a good place. It wasn’t unusual either, as far as orphanages in China go. After my trip, I can say with certainty that those babies do NOT get out of their cribs. They are fed randomly. One spoon in a boiling hot cauldron of congee. When the nanny feels like moving on to the next crib, she does. She doesn’t care if the first child has had enough to eat or has even burned her mouth for that matter. Baths? One big tub that’s wheeled around the infant room. Each baby is dunked in- that’s it. Bottles? Propped up. If the bottle falls out? Too bad. Diaper wet or dirty? It will have to wait. The urine soaked wooden board in the crib- stays in the crib urine soaked. No toys. No music. In fact no sound. When you walk in that room full of infants- you can hear a pin drop. Now tell me- how normal is that? Babies old enough to walk or crawl, can’t. Physical developmental delays?? Obviously significant. But worse- much worse are the emotional scars taking place every day in that place. Can ANY baby start out in that environment and NOT have issues or scars? I believe that’s impossible. I also believe that this is another area where it’s very difficult for many parents to face the facts. All out of love of course.

Please take a moment to pray for Faith today. My heart aches to have her home!

Preparing Shelby

We were on the Great Wall today last year. You can see us here. It is really sinking in that I get to be a mommy again!! Shelby and I have really been talking about Faith and where she will sit, who will hold her, if she will cry, you know all that important big sister stuff she will need to know ;) Shelby is already starting to look like a real big girl to me now. No more diapers and talking more and more. She is going to be a terrific big sister :)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Memory Lane

Here is the post on this day last year of our trip. I love going back and reading the posts, especially the great comments from everyone. I will probably post a few of the neat posts from our trip last year over the next couple of weeks. Crazy how we were actually in China this time last year, and now we are preparing to go back again!! And to think that this Georgia girl never thought she would EVER leave the country :)

Just saw this and couldn't resist posting this-HA!