Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Wishes Came True

We all had a very merry Christmas this year. Everyone got their most favorite gift from Santa's wish list. The boys both got iPod touches that they seem to play with constantly. Shelby received her new AmericanGirl (Walmart) doll with matching outfits and of course the panda Pillow Pet. Faith did score some cotton candy that she told Santa she wanted every time she visited him (from afar of course). CJ got a new portable TV for his big truck, and I finally broke down and got an iPhone! Here are some pics I have taken on my new toy and posted on FB. Hope all your wishes came true as well :)

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

From our house to yours, MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Wishing you and yours a wonderful time spent remembering the birth of our Saviour and the real reason for the season. Make a memory with your family and friends this Christmas, for no one knows what tomorrow might bring. Enjoy each and everyday that you have with your loved ones!! Merry Christmas :)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

All About Santa

It has been fun this year watching the girls visit Santa. Shelby is absolutely in LOVE with the big guy. Faith-not so much! As you can see, Faith isn't so sure about the man in the big red suit. This was as close as she has come to him all year, and as you can see she never took her eyes off of him-LOL. This year Travis thinks he knows all about the "real Santa Clause", so unfortunately the magic is gone from his perspective. Good thing I will have another little believer in the bunch next year!!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Horsing Around

Faith had her big Christmas performance at school the other day. She was supposed to dress up as a "manger animal". Yeah, I know?!?! Anyhow we had choice of coming up with a camel, donkey, cow, or horse outfit. After a dash out to the Thrift Store, we were successful. She did a fabulous job and sang loud with all the hand motions. I was a proud mommy for sure.

I must confess she was the most adorable little manger animal I have ever seen ;)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Missing Her Already

This is my first time experiencing Christmas by "knowing" who my child is, yet not being able to be with her during the holidays.  We first saw Shelby in May, then we had her home that same year for Christmas.  Then with Faith, we found her in July, and still managed to get her home to celebrate the holidays at home with her family.  With Elise, that is not going to be the case :(

Unless you have been there, it is very hard to explain to someone what it is like to have a child that you can't get to for Christmas.  On one hand, you try to be happy and excited to be blessed with her coming into your life in a few months.  Yet on the other hand, each time you gather the kids for a family portrait you feel an ache in your heart that one of your littles is missing.  I just grin and bear it of course, and just try to remember that we will be with her in a few months.  Merry Christmas Elise, we miss you already!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Officially There


Found out today that our paperwork has made it to China and has been officially logged in to their system as of 12-14-2010.  We now sit in among these stacks of files waiting for a review from the China adoption peoples to give us our official Letter of Approval (LOA).  This usually takes around 60 days to get.  We are still on track to hopefully travel early May for our baby girl :) 

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Pizza Party

It only took two years, but by golly she did it...FAITH EATS PIZZA!!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Christmas Fun

It's hard to beat the fun this time of year!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Goodies Sent

I asked Ann with http://www.redthreadchina.com/ to send Elise a package for Christmas. I had originally requested a Christmas Tree, Santa hats, decorations, etc.  She quickly reminded me that they really do not celebrate Christmas in China.  Ann didn't think that the orphanage would use those items, so I agreed.
Instead I asked Ann to go ahead and send some toys and shoes that all the kids could maybe enjoy.  Sad to know that Elise won't be "celebrating Christmas" this year, but I know it will be nice to have her true 1st Christmas at home with us next year!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Two Year Gotcha Anniversary

Go check out this post to stroll down memory lane with us 2 years ago today-Faith Day!  Sometimes it is hard to remember what a little baby Faith was when we got her.  Boy has she come a long way.  She fits into our family like a glove.  She is the female version of my Travis for sure. They are 2 peas in a pod, and make for a double-trouble duo ;)  Faith is talking more and more now, and she sure loves her Nana. I am so blessed to get to be her mommy!

And now my big girl!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Updates on Elise

Ann at http://www.redthreadchina.com/ was able to get me some updates on Elise last night.  I think the pictures were taken on the same day as the last update, but hey at least they are ones I have never seen.  Also, they did not answer the questions I had about her being in foster care, which leads me to believe that she truly is NOT in foster care.  Her file states that she is not either; however, since speaking with other parents who had adopted children from her orphanage, I really thought she would be in foster care.  Apparently she is not, which makes me sad to know that she is not being loved on by a family every day :( 

Elise just turned 16 months old (same age as when we got Faith), and it will be about another 5 months until we can get to her.  Living in an orphanage without a foster family for 21 months can really take its toll on a little soul.  I so hope she at least has a "special nanny" that favors her and maybe-just maybe- loves on her everyday. 

Here is the update:

Hong Xin Fang`s nick name is Fang Fang

She can not walk by her own,but she when she touch something such as the walll or table or little chairs ,she can move pretty well and she can stand by herself for a little while .

Xin Fang means gentle and sweet girl

Main food for xin fang : rice ,noodles ,vegetables ,meats

Milk 2-3 times/day ,She needs to eat deserts two times/day too,she eats fresh fruits sauce ,bread ,egg,cake ,all kinds of soup ,ect .

Xin Fang`s udpate measurements below :
weight :9kg
height :77cm
head :43.5cm
chest :44cm

Monday, December 6, 2010

It's Beginning

to look a lot like Christmas!!  I love this time of year spent having fun with all my babies.  Hope you are enjoying your Christmas as well :)

Paperwork Pics

Forgot to post the official pics of our dossier headed to China!

Friday, December 3, 2010

DTC Baby

Our paperwork is officially on its way to China today!  DTC BABY!! 
D (Dossier=paperwork) T (to)  C (China)

We are now waiting for our next acronym...LID  L (Logged=recorded)  I (In)  D (Date)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Almost There

Just received this email from my agency:

Dear Donna:

I got both packages and will let you know after I send your dossier to China tomorrow.


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Monday, November 29, 2010


Busy busy productive day!

Print off US approval to bring Elise home I-800A...Check
Visit the Cobb County Clerk's office for certifying...Check
Head downtown to Atlanta for our State's seal of approval...Check
Purchase Money Order for Houston Consulate...Check
Prepare package for MyChinaDocs.com...Check
Get Cashier's Check for BLAS...Check
Make out a few special agency checks...Check
Stop at the bank to send wire to China CCAA...Check
Back to work for all the copies of these precious docs...Check
Off and running to FedEx...Check
Overnight 2 docs to Cindy at http://www.mychinadocs.com/  ...Check
FedEx 2 day the rest of my fancy dossier to http://www.baas.org/ ...Check

SO the net net of all this is that my part of the paperwork is DONE.  Dossier To Agency Baby !!  Only about 5 months away from our baby girl :)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Making Your List, Checking it Twice

Listen to this as you sit down to write out your Christmas Wish List this year...

This happened to come on the radio tonight as we were leaving the Lake Lanier Island Light Show.  WOW, oh wow what a finish to our wonderful family fun filled evening.  I can't wait to get to share the fun with our new baby girl next year!

Friday, November 26, 2010

I-800A Approval

YAHOO!!  Just got an email from our lovely officer (who obviously did come in a work on her holiday) that our I-800A has finally been approved.  I am SO excited to finally have this last piece of our dossier.  Now I will be off and running to the notary, the county, the state, and of course then the Fedex store on Monday morning.  Wish me luck :)

PS:  Oh and yes we had a happy Thanksgiving and certainly have lots to be thankful for!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Tiny Glimpse

Just a tiny glimpse of my girl to brighten my Thanksgiving weekend.  I can spot those cheeks anywhere!  This was taken in August. Can you find her?!? 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I Want It Now

This is what I feel like doing to the NBC who is taking their sweet time approving my homestudy and I-800A...I WANT IT NOW!!  After leaving a sugary sweet voice mail for my officer this morning, she called me back.  It went something like this:

Me: Donna Straight
Her: Hi Ms. Straight, this is Officer W with the NBC returning your call
Me: Yes, I was hoping to find out when my approval was going to be completed
Her: Well didn't I tell you that I just had 30 files thrown at me all at once, I haven't gotten to yours yet...
Me: Yes, you mentioned that last week that you would get to it this week, so that is why I was checking in
Her: Well, it is ONLY Tuesday
Me:  Haha, yes I know but unfortunately since the holidays are approaching fast, the week is almost over
Her:  Well not for me, I am going to be working on Friday to catch up. 
Me:  Oh you are working Friday, sorry for you, but sounds good for me :)
Her: Yes, Yours will be done this week.
Me:  Okay great! Are you still going to be able to email my agency a copy of the approval like you said you would last week. 
Her: Yes, I will do that.
Me:  Perfect, thanks so much for your help (As I clenched my teeth snarling at the phone in my best sugary sweet voice)

UGH, double UGH!!  Yes, I am praying that she shaves off a week by emailing the approval, but oh how I wished it was coming in today.  This waiting stinks. And yes, I do realize the waiting only gets harder :(

Monday, November 22, 2010

Birthday Weekends

Lots of November birthdays in our group:  Caleb, Austin, and Sheila!  Here are some pics from our party adventures :)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Meeting Tonight

I am passing along the open invitation from Denise at 3rd Friday to what looks like an incredible opportunity for parents tonight on November 19th.
Here is the invite:
Dear Families,
I hope this email finds everyone doing well! I am very happy to announce that in honor of November being National Adoption Awareness Month, we will be having a panel for our meeting this month. We will be having six adult adoptees coming to speak with us, discuss adoption, and answer questions. Three of the adoptees were born and adopted in the United States, while the other three were born overseas and then adopted by American parents.
Please join us for this special opportunity! Babysitting is provided, donations graciously accepted. Light refreshments will be served. 

It will be on November 19th, at 7:30pm.  Meeting is held at:
Cornerstone Church
2458 Duluth Hwy. 120
Duluth, GA. 30097
Denise Carroll
Facilitator, Hand In Hand
Edcuation and Support for Adoptive Families

I am taking off early from work today so that I don't miss this great opportunity to learn more about the issues my girls will face growing up in today's world.  Give me a call if you need more info or want to meet up before the meeting tonight: 678-296-9975.  Hope to see you tonight!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Project "Joshua"

One of my little projects is almost complete...Stephanie is finally on a plane to get this little adorable scruptious little boy that captured my heart many months ago.  Remember this post way back when??  Stephanie saw it and well the rest is history.

I am SO happy that he found his family!!  Stay tuned for her Gotcha Day on Monday.  I can't wait to see little "Joshua" finally become little Parker, and safe in his mommy's arms.  Stephanie has been kind enough to grant me "Aunt Donna" status for this little guy, and I have been able to share in the joy of their upcoming union.  I can't wait...

We Have an Officer

Well at least we are one step closer!  I called today and we have finally been assigned an officer to our case-YEAH.  And yes, I do call or email every single day in case you were wondering ;)

Pulling my hair out as I wait for our I-800A approval...

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Just Waiting

Unfortunately, we still have not been assigned an officer to work on our I-800A application-UGH.  We have to have an officer in order for that officer to review our homestudy and fingerprints, and then "hopefully" give us our final APPROVAL to be able to bring in a child from China.  Good ole USA government at work I suppose.  They received our application 32 days ago, and we haven't even been assigned an officer :(  Don't they know this precious little girl is waiting to come home?!?!